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Re: On The Inherent Evil of Electronic Democracy

>Regarding the Electronic Democracy idea, I vote with Tim May.  Look at the
>way public opinion is molded today through CNN, Tom Brokaw, Connie Chung,
>Oprah Winfrey, etc.  One could even say that Clinton is the "Phil Donahue
>president" (he 'cares') - just look at the second candidate debate last 

I don't think public opinion is 'molded' so much, just that it's fancies are
entertained too much.  (Info-tained?)  I dropped by a local bookstore last
night to hear Jim Lehrer (McNeil/Lehrer Newhour on PBS) speak about his new
book.  He brought up this topic, saying that "mainstream news," (never
mind the dribble of Donahue or Oprah) has been remiss in *reporting
the news* for years, instead sensationalizing news and entertaining the 

According to Lehrer, T.V. news (and newspapers who must now compete
with them) have stopped asking their reporters to "get the facts" instead
encouraging them to "get the dirt," or else.  Look what has happened:
the three major networks have lost over 30% market-share to other outlets
like NPR and PBS or from people that just plain turn it off.  Extreme
voter apathy.  Twentynothings from hell :-)

The good side to this according to Lehrer is that one day soon a bunch
of balding men will sit around the NBC board-room table and say, "We
need more viewers, what do we do?"  One particularly bright young man
will finally say, "I know, let's report the news!," and everyone will bust
out in applause.  Lehrer's been doing it for 18 years.  The info-tainment
stuff is a small blip on the Neilson charts and nothing more.  Maybe I'm a 
too optimistic for my own good though  :^)   - Jim