The Pernicious Paternalism of the Press

Oh, this one just got my goat. William Rasberry in the Washington Post has published one of the most patronizing articles I’ve ever seen concerning the explosion of political authorship on the web. Here’s just one little excerpt:

What has changed in the years since Gennifer Flowers, says Rieder, is that a handful of national newspapers no longer can operate as journalistic gatekeepers — effectively blocking stories that are unverified or unverifiable and driven by people whose political motivations are plain to see.

The explosion of the Internet leaves us, in effect, with no gatekeeper. Sometimes important information gains currency that way. The problem is that anyone with Web access can run any cockamamie story up the flagpole — and if enough people salute, prompt the mainstream press to deploy its resources.

It’s that bad — and it isn’t likely to get better any time soon.

Even if I was able to ignore Mr. Rasberry’s nauseating condescension towards his fellow man, how on earth would I be able to accept the Washington Post as a gatekeeper with no “axe to grind”? Give me a break.

Beware of men who look after your mind for you. Their intentions are nothing but evil. They seek to control the thoughts of men in order to control their actions. Never mind that this control only works on the cowards who avoid their reasoning abilities; their desire is for power and that is what is really scary. Of course, “it’s that bad — and it isn’t likely to get better any time soon.”

2 thoughts on “The Pernicious Paternalism of the Press

  1. My dear Nathan, why would it be any more acceptable for the average joe to have access to ideas that aren’t approved by the liberal intelligentsia gatekeepers than it is for him to decide how to best spend his own money? I mean, when you’ve got stand-up news outlets such as the New York Times and CBS News looking out for your intellectual well being, how can you possibly want anything more?

  2. Yes, yes, the internet is ruining us by letting us air our cockamamie ideas to the world! This capability is indeed eroding the power of the institutions of the fourth estate inherited from Hearst that do such a marvelous job of looking after our interests for us. I’ve been trying hard to figure out how I can trust my senses without the Washington Post to help me, alas! We may soon be overrun by deceitful bloggers, with no choice but to stand and salute their lies!

    Here shall the Press the People’s right maintain,
    Unaw’d by influence and unbrib’d by gain;
    Here patriot Truth her glorious precepts draw,
    Pledg’d to Religion, Liberty, and Law.

    Joseph Story (1779-1845): Motto of the ‘Salem Register.’ (Life of Story, Vol. i. p. 127.)

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