Interesting post about the dearth of serious journalism by David Byrne. (I love David Byrne.)
We tend to get all holier-than-thou when we look at countries without free press. We think their lives must somehow be more pathetic or sad. Needless to say, this attitude makes us feel better. But people go on. They know, or at least suspect, that they are being denied something, but they maintain hope and optimism. They don’t go around moping. They get on with their lives, and sometimes, at least now and then, feel like maybe the censorship doesn’t matter all that much. There are still reasons to be cheerful. We might like to think of life in an oppressive regime as sheer misery, but from what I can tell, it’s rarely viewed that way. Life goes on and people make do with what they have, and they fall in love and get drunk and sing and dance. It takes a lot — a whole lot — to bring them to the flash point, like what just happened in Greece. Mostly, people adapt to the way things are — and to feel miserable about it is fruitless. And that’s what we will do when there are only two serious newspapers left in the USA.
“How does a democracy work without (in-depth) news? It doesn’t.” — Byrne.
He’s right. That’s why the free press is called the “fifth estate.”
I love David Byrne too, musically, but his life-goes-on-without-a-free-press attitude seems complacent and equivocating. I read it a few times and he seems to be saying in-depth news is a luxury, America is losing that luxury, too bad, but hey, let’s party!
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