Jon Lebkowsky on 21 Feb 2001 17:10:01 -0000

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<nettime> No News is Good News

This is to Ronda Hauben and others like her...

Your problem is not that one tiny source of shrill counterculture rants
might be silenced - if Amy Goodman was dropped from all 30+ stations that
carry her show, the world would hardly notice.

Your problem is not the transfer of a megaversion of the usenet archive from
one business to another (which is hardly the death of usenet or a serious
blow to democracy).

Your problem is not even that the leading media outlets are controlled by a
handful of like-minded entities that are, yes, "corporations" serving the
dragon of "capitalism" that you hope to slay with your tiny cocktail sword.

Your real problem is that multimillions of your friends and neighbors
wouldn't know Truth if it was blasted high-decibel out of every box in the
house, nor would they care to hear it, nor would it penetrate whatever
blinders and patterns of denial they've constructed to sustain their efforts
to survive each day riding one misleading belief system or another,
including the ones cultivated by the Amy Goodmans of this world, which are
just an alternate flavor of those cultivated by the Rush Limbaughs.

It is no accident that what passes for "news" for most folks in this world
is mostly accounts of car crashes and baby snatches, casual murders and drug
overdoses, idle gossip and information detritus.  We're not served this junk
food because Rupert Murdoch wants us to eat it - we get it because most of
us, even if we know our diet sucks, prefer to eat junk. You can blame
"capitalism" and "corporations" all you want for the habits of consumers,
but you're not going to change dietary preferences with a few bitter pills.

Amy Goodman is "censored" every day by millions of people who choose to
ignore her.  It's not really censorship (strictly speaking, only governments
can "censor").  It's selection... people turn away in droves, they choose
not to hear; can we really blame them?

Perhaps the real quandary at WBAI is whether to sustain Goodman's tiny
devoted audience, or Give the People What They Want, cultivate a mass
audience with more potential donors.

Meanwhile I worry more about the ice that's melting as we deny the fact of
"global warming" ... or the bioterrorist threat for which we are all so
ill-prepared ... or the excellent chance that some mountain of space rock
will fall to earth and obliterate us all. You can push your anxiety to a
much higher existential level, if you skip your democracynow breakfast for a
few days.....

But the news right now is Napster and Eminem and wreckless driving
submarine-style, so I better go watch the latest.


jon lebkowsky ::

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