Georgie Anne Geyer writes the most incredible business model for newspapers I’ve seen yet. She argues, to sum it up, that newspapers prevent wars. And apparently, blogs cause them. If editors were only able to still forcefeed us with what they think is important, she argues, the world would be a peachy place.
My theory is that we Americans have so picked and chosen our news that we have lost that comprehensive view of the world that only a newspaper gives. You may only read a few stories thoroughly, but you are inexorably exposed to ones you don’t choose — labor news in Detroit, deaths in Darfur, economic successes in Finland, a zoning excess in your own community.
Whether you like it or not, all of those headlines and leads stay with you; they wash around your head and force you to be a bigger person than you are — and to know and react to a world bigger than you are.
Think for a moment of what might have happened had we had better (really, any) coverage of Afghanistan during the 1990s, when the Taliban and Osama bin Laden were cooking up a second attack after the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Could we then have been so amazed by 9/11? Wasn’t it criminally irresponsible to be so amazed?
Think a little further. If more Americans had had a comprehensive view of the world — the kind that is irrevocably blurred by the 80,000 new blogging sites launched every week — it would have been barely possible for the 30 people who in essence started the Iraq war to have acted without the accord of the American people.
What a load of claptrap, what incredible hubris, what foot-dragging stupidity, what an insult to a democracy. And what a good laugh.