After a week and a half of reading British papers, something has been bugging about reading American papers again. This morning, it hit me when I read this sentence in a New York Times story about the jury instructions in the Enron case, allowing jurors to find Lay and Skilling guilty of “deliberate ignorance.” There followed a discussion about Skilling not employing the ostrich defense and then The Times felt compelled to add this:
By allowing the so-called ostrich instruction, referring to that bird’s burying of its head in the sand….
They treat us like idiots, that’s what bugs me. That is the perch American journalism has built for itself and they have no idea how much it irritates the public to be treated as if we don’t know a damned thing and thus we need them to explain everything to us. The formerly broadsheet British papers, on the other hand, treat their readers as if they were smart, or else they wouldn’t be reading them. It’s about respect.