September 22, 2002
7:05 AM   Subscribe

A case on Iraq - Rumsfeld's testimony to Senate Armed Services Committee, 9.19.02.
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America.
GAO e-Government Proposal.
Senator Byrd on the Department of Homeland Security.
Today's bumper crop of limited audience government info links. "Maybe only 50,000 people want to know what's going on in Libya, but those 50,000 people are really important. You don't want to have more planes blow up. But maybe six million people want to watch Jerry Springer. Well, who owns the airwaves? Basically we do." Do you think that unprocessed, source texts are getting filtered effectively to the public?
posted by sheauga (7 comments total)
Having unfiltered texts around is a great thing. They are more easily available than ever before. The problem is getting the public's attention. Anyway, the linked Schell interview makes a case for less crap journalism. There is plenty a good writer would be able to tell you - or maybe just have you think - about a certain subject that a whole month's worth of original source material would not. Also, there's that certain ineffable aesthetic thing involved. Maybe the future for that sort of writing is on the Internet, in blogs and whatnot. The only problem is, it's hard to read long articles on computer screens.

A bit of trivia related to the Schell article: Curiously, I read somewhere last year that the more civically active in the U.S. are not necessarily viewers of public affairs shows. Instead, they are more likely to be viewers of TV dramas involving political and social issues. The idea was that these shows help them chew over important matters more than any talking head showcase would. Again, an aesthetic thing's involved.
posted by raysmj at 7:55 AM on September 22, 2002

Well, who owns the airwaves? Basically we do.
there was time, not so long ago, when one could have omitted the qualifier and said without reservation: "We do." but the springer-watchers don't care, so it must be all right.
posted by quonsar at 8:58 AM on September 22, 2002

Dean Orville Schell wishes he was his brother Jonathan ("The Fate of the Earth.") If he really cared about reducing crap journalism, the coursework at his school wouldn't consist of magazine writers talking about themselves for the benefit of idle rich kids in the program who can't write.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:38 AM on September 22, 2002

I disagree that the National Security Strategy was an unprocessed source text. It was a major PR event for the White House. And its not boring either; it reads like a Dean Koontz novel.
posted by rschram at 10:36 AM on September 22, 2002

what is a 'unit of economic activity'?
posted by quonsar at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2002

rschram, "Mr. Bush told his staff [the document] had to be written in plain English..."

Dave, exactly my point. I don't think that the writing is a bad point. Rather it's a pretty good idea, even if I don't immediately see the difference in style between Bush's and Clinton's statements, based on my cursory read of both.

I think the statement was essentially a spelling-out in somewhat grandiose terms what's been a pretty evident shift in stances since 9/11. Good PR because you can draw the liberal media into saying something "un-American." I'm glad no one took the bait.

It seems to me that the departures in fact between Bush and past administrations are much smaller than the departure in language, which is to say that past statements were more deceptive than Bush's.
posted by rschram at 7:00 PM on September 22, 2002

« Older   |   Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments