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"Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: December 03, 2008 10:51PM
I found this piece by Stuart Rothenberg to be very interesting and it made me think of the state of this side of the forum.

Seems for awhile that we were having some honest discussions with all sides able to articulate their arguments.
Please notice that I said all side and not both sides - as I do not particularly believe that it's all "us against them."
There seems to be plenty of stupidity to go around

I tend to see lots of shades of gray and am open to persuasion if done on an intelligent level but I am not claiming innocence either.
I have been known to thumb my nose at a few here as well - but haven't we all ?

There are many here that are both far right and far left of many of my views dependent upon
what the particular subject at hand is. I really do believe that it is rarely truly black & white
and that many here are really able to see the shades of gray as well.

Anyway the author isn't the first to make these valid points but does a good job of presenting them.
Please at least attempt to read the article before you take to your ideological corners -

Just go to the Web or turn on a cable TV news network, and you'll see and hear the kind of coarse, downright mean characterizations
of politicians that have made civility and rationality all but impossible when discussing politics or political issues.


[www.realclearpolitics.com]



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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: December 03, 2008 10:56PM
Actually things have calmed down a lot since the election. The new administration is already acting like its in power, and the current administration is politely allowing this. While the nattering nabobs of negativity are happily smarming around the stink-tank and blogobombast, everyone else is just.. hoping.
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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: mattkime
Date: December 03, 2008 11:33PM
is this when I'm supposed to start chanting "obama"??



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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: billb
Date: December 03, 2008 11:43PM
has there been an era of non-division ?

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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 04, 2008 07:35AM
I honestly think that some industries should not be in the public marketplace, and that one of those industries is the news business, which has completely changed since most of its outlets became publicly traded. The pressure for rising profits quarter after quarter after quarter has forced the business and marketing heads under the newsroom door.

Editors and producers are pressured to produce an ever increasing audience for the pages or program while producing the product, which is the news, cheaper and cheaper. The result is not good news, in all senses of that word.

The best papers in the country--the New York Times and the Washington Post--are privately held. Two of the finest papers in the nation--the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun--have become travesties under the management of the publicly traded Tribune Company. There are so many "cooperative projects" at both papers it's hard to tell whether a story is advertising driven or not. I have begun to assume, in the case of the Sun, that it is usually advertising-driven.

Worse still, readership doesn't seem to care if stories on the news pages are paid for by advertisers, as long as the paper leans toward their particular political bent, and so papers and stations begin to fit a political niche instead of concentrating on reporting the news. So you have networks and papers identified principally by their political bent, even if they don't possess one--"MSM" means "lefty" and "Fox" or "Faux" means righty--and most people who blog are pretty frankly partisan.

Maybe we have no need anymore of the traditional American methods of newsgathering. Maybe the future is in polarization and smaller outlets that frankly support various political causes. Perhaps, if the people no longer trust news gathered honestly and professionally, it's time to drop or lower professional standards. I disagree with that but I could be wrong about it.

I am quite sure that if people respond to this statement they will say "Oh, right, as if the news is currently gathered honestly and professionally," or something like that, and that's a symptom of the malaise. One of the jobs of a newsie is to present information that various members of the public don't want to know. It's very difficult to make that palatable.
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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: mikeylikesit
Date: December 04, 2008 07:52AM
People simply don't get news from newspapers. If they get it all, they get it from TV which of course gets it from newspapers and redoes it to fit their own format and bias.

I wonder where all these TV and radio news outlets will turn for news when newspapers disappear. Not that they do real news now, but by then they'll likely just abandon the attempt to appear to do news at all since Malcom reruns are cheaper.
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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: MacGurl
Date: December 04, 2008 11:55AM
I think a person like Obama could do it, but whether the news media will "let" that happen, I don't know. So much of the media subsists on the negative "news" that it can dig/stir up, rather than being part of the solution to help heal things. But then again, I guess we have "ourselves" to blame for that, don't we? Just like the monster SUVs that gobble massive amounts of gasoline, they just make what we seem to want, which isn't always what it best for us as a whole.




edit for typo







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2008 11:56AM by MacGurl.
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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 04, 2008 11:59AM
Junk food, junk news, it's the same concept, you're right.

The politics of division is very profitable for some businesses. Defense contracting is one of them, and big media is another.
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Re: "Can Anyone Bring America Together in an Era of Division?"
Posted by: kj
Date: December 04, 2008 08:02PM
He pretty much nailed it, which leaves me with not much to say. Probably the smartest thing Obama could do is focus primarily on the economy. If he chooses, or due to circumstances is forced, to focus on social issues, terrorism, etc., he'll have more trouble. kj.
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