Comments: How I Hate Politics

Don't even try to stop; what other defense have we to the foibles of our species?

And remember not to follow Dean Swift who let fierce indignation consume his heart and mind.

Posted by Weniger Gottquatsch at October 25, 2009 08:46 AM

Criticizing the media and media personalities is fine as long as one realizes that, as Jonathan said, if they behaved better, they'd be fired. Too many liberals believe that the media can do a better job if only they keep criticizing them. What they don't realize is that proper criticism should serve to wake people up in order to create a new media, not to change the old media into behaving better.

Posted by forrest at October 25, 2009 09:33 AM

You really believe you're so powerful that you can create better economic structures and make the world discernibly better?

Someone should make fun of you.

Posted by abb1 at October 25, 2009 10:03 AM

"Making fun of them doesn't make me better"

Mr Schwarz, PLEASE do not try to become better. If you did become better, I would have to stop visiting ATR.......not a pleasant thought!

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 25, 2009 10:44 AM

Mock on, dude.

Yes, the fundamental problem is corporate control of our media, and that's not a problem that's fixable by mockery. But, as forrest points out above, skilled mockery could cause people to seek out other sources of information. We may be stuck with corporate media, but that doesn't mean anyone has to trust them, or even listen to them.

For example, I don't see how anyone who watches the Daily Show regularly can take CNN seriously as a news source. That's got to be a good thing. right?

And any thoughts on why Jake Tapper would respond to a twitter post by you when he would certainly never respond to a blog post by you?

Posted by SteveB at October 25, 2009 11:32 AM

"In the Corporate State, corporate media are the State media."

Posted by woody at October 25, 2009 12:34 PM

Making fun of them doesn't make the world better. [...] Making fun of them doesn't make me better.

Comedy, satire, mocking are concise, pleasing ways of pointing out injustice, flaws, and foolishness. If your goal is to change the behavior of corporate newz, then, yeah, you're probably going to fail and apparently, you're going to feel slightly dirty doing it. Or if not dirty, then kind of funky, like when you wait an hour or two too long before getting your first shower on a weekend day.

If your goal, on the other hand, is to poke the brains of people who are wandering around the internets, vaguely wondering why mainstream news makes their heads fuzzy and doesn't help them understand anything about anything, then you've got a good format for doing that.

Don't stop!

Posted by laym at October 25, 2009 01:08 PM

You have a genuine talent for mocking mockworthy people and it's a good thing to do. If you also have a talent for designing and creating better economic structures, then write a post about it sometime.

It would be interesting to discuss the alternatives. I'd lurk, having little or nothing to contribute, but that's probably not true of everyone else.

Posted by Donald Johnson at October 25, 2009 01:40 PM

Are there any awards like emmies or academy awards or even nobel prizes for excellence at mockery? If so, can we submit nominations, or do we need some sort of credentials?

Posted by N E at October 25, 2009 01:48 PM

I like #6 the best.

Posted by Susan at October 25, 2009 01:53 PM

For example, I don't see how anyone who watches the Daily Show regularly can take CNN seriously as a news source.

And yet they do, SteveB. For those who already feel that CNN and its ilk are propaganda, TDS and its ilk reinforce that belief. For those who are more "mainstream" in their perception of corporate media, they can hold the opposing ideas in their minds very easily.

This is the problem with devoting one's life to creating this kind of material. Even at the highest levels, its ability to change people's minds is very, very weak. Its ability to reinforce preexisting beliefs is very, very strong. But if you are a person good at creating the material, you want to change people's minds--or at least make them more flexible--not simply reinforce them, and make them less flexible.

One must do it for one's own amusement or, if really fortunate, for money. But it's a very ineffective method of changing the world in the way that you want. It's entertainment. Nothing wrong with that, but after at least 30 years (SNL) and maybe closer to 40 (Beyond the Fringe) of a mainstream belief that mass-media satire can DO great things, there's not much evidence for it. In fact, there's some evidence that it makes things worse.

Posted by Mike of Angle at October 25, 2009 02:46 PM

You really believe you're so powerful that you can create better economic structures and make the world discernibly better?

YES

Wait, I mean no. But I think the intertubes mock-o-sphere could make some progress pushing ideas like this. Or at least it could get organized and raise some real money for Marcy Wheeler or Consortium News or the Real News. Instead, we just ridicule individual corporate journalists.

I'm not disputing that they deserve it. And I wouldn't even mind if the proportions were 50% making fun of idiots and 50% talking about creating something better. Instead it's 99.9% make fun of idiots.

Beyond that, I dislike the aspect of politics that leads me to refer to these people as "idiots." While in a narrow sense it's accurate, I like to accentuate the positive in humanity. For instance: Saddam Hussein was very kind to his seven pet iguanas.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 25, 2009 02:49 PM

"Idiot" is not necessarily negative; it doesn't mean "bad person". An idiot can be very nice and pleasant individual.

In Dostoevsky's Idiot the protagonist is an idiot. Well, he's a different kind of idiot, but nevertheless.

Posted by abb1 at October 25, 2009 03:28 PM

...also Lars von Trier's idiots seem nice.

Posted by abb1 at October 25, 2009 03:37 PM

Mr Schwarz, your scolding is accepted. To me, "mocking" is just a way to relieve the frustrations ( temporarily) with the MSM ( their acts of Omission and Commission). And you would not deny that relief to us!
In addition to the news outletts you have mentioned, I would like to add one more please.
www.justforeignpolicy.org
Like Robert Parry, Mr. Robert Naiman does great reporting.
here
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/mcchrystals-40000-troop-h_b_318691.html

ps and I will be responsible for my own 'blurm post' and donate to 'better media'!

Posted by Rupa Shah at October 25, 2009 05:17 PM

we need to establish a representative media, the private sector obviously can never fill the needs of the public.

please subscribe to my channel (for free) if you want to do something tangible to help move us in that direction. I advocate for establishing a representative media with a representative press. I will also be talking about the structure of a representative media on the channel by that name very soon. I would like to hear suggestions form anyone about how such a system could be structured.

Posted by Tom Murphy at October 25, 2009 09:22 PM

Hi Tom Murphy, check out therealnews.com and the ANP(American News Project), if you are not already familiar with them. They also have youtube channels like you.

And whatever you do, don't by drugs from spammers.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at October 25, 2009 09:31 PM

Hi Tom Murphy,

Check out the Youtube channels of 'The Real News' and the American News Project

http://www.americannewsproject.com

if you have not done so already. Both are worth endeavors.

Also, whatever you do, don't by drugs from spammers. :^(

Posted by Jonathan Versen at October 25, 2009 09:37 PM

er, worthy endeavors.

Posted by Jonathan Versen at October 25, 2009 09:39 PM

Jonathan Versen, I'm a subscriber of The Real News on Youtube.
I hadn't seen the other. When I looked at the page, I see "The American News Project has recently merged with the new Huffington Post Investigative Fund." and that didn't sound good to me because Huffington Post censors and they banned me from their site. I had a page set up under the name 'representativepress' and was posting comments for a awhile when suddenly they pulled the rug out from under me. I really have to wonder about the people or person who made that decision.

Posted by Tom Murphy at October 25, 2009 09:44 PM

And here I thought all those titilating stories over at Huffington Post meant they would let anything get posted!

Posted by N E at October 25, 2009 09:52 PM