Neither September 11th or the worst economic downturn in history has managed to snap people out of their dreamlike delusions of why we should continue the quest to mediocrity. On one hand we have the almost former governor of Alaska, Sarah 'the anti-intellectual" Palin, talking dimwittedly about dead fish and passing basketballs, which aided her decision to resign and on the other there is the publisher of the Washington Post, Katharine Weymouth, selling her paper's soul for $25,000 a pop because apparently other types of creativity are out.
Although at least Weymouth had a crime in mind with her reason, Palin, well what can I say? Even inquiring minds don't want to know.
Weymouth thought it would be very cool and in true lazy and corrupted style to allow Congressional members, White House staff and lobbyist to influence the Post's editor and their journalists for a mere $25 K per dinner or $250,000 a year. She swore that this plan to pay for access would not hurt the paper's integrity. Hmm.
Now she's sorry and in true political fashion, she is blaming some poor sap in the marketing department. Her grandmother Katharine Graham is probably fuming in her living room in the sky.
It is true in this age of Internet vs. newspaper warfare that print is not winning. Newspapers across the globe are struggling for revenue because they are loosing advertisers and resources to mind numbing news coverage in blogs or on TV. Neither of which really dig into the story.
Anchors prefer to drone on and on about Michael Jackson (yes, he was no doubt the king of pop, but come on) and Palin's non-coherent rant about quitting while she's behind (thank goodness not behind a culled Turkey this time).
The whole thing is disturbing and disappointing. Weymouth, who inherited one of the nations finest newspapers, has the power to create a better faster and finally a more intellectual news agency. No offense, but if politico.com can get where it is, why can't she beat them at an intellectual instead of a sensational game.
Frankly all too many of us are tired of the drama-driven media and obnoxious people on all outlets preaching hate. We long for the day when news coverage went farther than the weather and barely if ever mentioned the plight of paparazzi driven Hollywood stars.
One would think that major events like genocide, global warming and two wars would trump these senseless starry-eyed stories and encourage -- not discourage -- the newspapers to take the bull by the horns and produce better news coverage.
The US just sent 4,000 marines to Afghanistan, Obama is on his first trip to Russia, Pakistan is falling further into chaos, China is quelling its own demonstrations quite brutally and Israel is still building settlements despite the plea to halt them from its closest ally, the United States. Not one of these stories has been covered in detail, with clear facts and thorough reporting.
Why not look for people who want to support better information coverage and ask them for money as opposed to giving influence to the few who can afford it? Why isn't Weymouth cultivating the Seymour Hershs of today and tomorrow instead of selling the opinion section to the highest bidder?
It is no wonder that US policy fails in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russian and many other places. People are too busy reading what a few wealthy dominant individuals tell reporters to write. They are telling us what and how to think instead of allowing journalists to do their job, which is to give us the facts and information so we can learn, analyze and think critically for ourselves.