In his latest column, Bill O’Reilly bemoans the fact that today’s young people (and middle-aged people and many old people ; also, smart people) don’t get all their news from him.
Let’s join Bill’s rant, already in progress:
Machines are part of the reason Americans continue to be ill-informed. Younger people, especially, spend hours in front of the computer, playing games and engaging in idle chat. When they do get their butts up off the chair, they slap on iPods and have sound piped directly into their brains. Tiring of that, they flick on the tube and watch a variety of mind-numbing “reality” shows.
The result: According to a survey done by National Geographic, 63% of Americans ages 18 to 24 can’t find Iraq on a map of the Middle East. And, incredibly, 25% of that age could not even identify Dick Cheney as Vice President.
I too blame iPods and “American Idol” for the fact that kids today think a “Dick Cheney” is some sort of dildo.
Research shows that news consumption amongst Americans under the age of 50 is drastically declining. TV news ratings skew old, and newspaper circulation is generally plummeting. One explanation is that Americans can now get the news online. Okay, fine
Thanks, Bill, for giving me your permission to get my news from a source other than Fox. That was mighty big of you!
But those Internet headlines barely skim the surface of complicated matters, and many websites have absolutely no editorial standards. They print rank propaganda and libel all day long.
Yeah! Damn websites, printing libel 24/7! Why, back in my day, sleazy news sources could only print rank propaganda during regular office hours. And we liked it that way!
(BTW, when Bill talks about websites that print libel all day long, I’m pretty sure he means sites such as MediaMatters and Crooks & Liars. You know, sites that report what Bill says, in his own words.)
But anyway, Bill is probably right about how Internet headlines barely skim the surface of stuff. For instance, here are some recent NewsMax headlines which fail to do justice to complicated matters. (NewsMax is kind enough to email me with their headlines, so I never have to even visit their site stay informed. I just skim the headlines and get all the news I need, just like Bill said!):
–Tiger Woods: Bill Clinton Cheats at Golf, Too
From this I gather that Tiger has been caught cheating at golf, and is using the standard wingnut defense of blaming his moral lapse on Bill Clinton’s bad example. (Hey, if you can get people to believe that nobody had oral sex before 1998, then you can blame anything on Bill Clinton.)
–Ann Coulter: Go Ahead, Make My Day
Apparently Dirty Ann Coulter is off her meds and is gunning down punks, Arabs, and liberals.
–Schwarzenegger: ‘No’ Gay Textbooks
Arnold believes that textbooks are ‘asexual’?
–Ann Coulter Gone Wild
Ann is now flashing her breasts at innocent bystanders in an effort to sell her book.
–Jeb Bush to Sign ‘Dining With Dogs’ Bill
In a bid to show that he’s made of presidential timber, Jeb signs a bill making it mandatory for Rick Santorum to at least buy dinner for Fido before he has sex with him.
Of course, some headlines do demand that one read the story. For instance:
–Peter King: I’ll Probe CIA ‘Orgies’
–Minuteman Border Fence
–John Stossel: Not Afraid to Tell the Truth
So, we’ll read those stories tomorrow (I’d share them with you today, but I need to get some sleep before the next kitten feeding).
But hey, for now, let’s let Bill O’Reilly finish up his rant.
The USA used to be a nation that valued knowledge and rallied around national standards. Now we have become Balkanized�each of us can easily create individual electronic fantasy worlds. Why face a world full of terror and confusing angst when you can drift off into iPod land?
We need to get off the Internet and become as informed as Bill is about important matters such as the Malmedy massacre.
(Oh, and in Thursday’s Talking Point Memo, Bill blames the Internet for making kids less safe than they’ve ever been before. He accuses it of having “demolished boundaries in this country,” thus making “abhorrent behavior” normal. So, I guess it was the Internet that made him have phone sex with his employees and threaten them with falafel showers. Well, the Internet and Bill Clinton.
In any case, we should all try to emulate Bill, and become more informed and moral and such.
Posted by s.z. on Sunday, June 4th, 2006 at 3:32 am.
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