All the News the Editors See Fit to Print

Decades ago while in high school I read John Dos Passos’s USA. It was published in the 1930s before television or cable news. But it presaged well the strange mixture of important and ridiculous news we receive today. News today is largely fashioned into narratives by mostly young, unworldly reporters and biased news editors, repeated on TV by well-coiffed, fashionably garbed and cosmetically buffed up news readers, jazzed up by often highly biased photo editors and presented on a plate to passive consumers. When I read USA, my hometown had -- like most larger cities -- two major newspapers, one liberal, the other conservative, and like most homes we got both and read both so we had a fairer picture of what was happening in the world. The reporters were often grizzled veterans of the world who drank hard, smoked a lot, and believed no one or nothing without evidence. With the advent of television and the monopolization of print markets it seems to me we lost the ability to...(Read Full Article)