I wrote yesterday about narcissism and politics -- how American self-absorption may lead us to make rash voting choices based not on facts but on self-centered emotions. (A lot of this is detailed by Jennifer Senior in New York magazine.)
This is not a partisan malady (or observation), and it doesn't just infect politics. In a recent opinion piece published by The Washington Post, former ABC News heavyweight Ted Koppel makes much the same argument in describing how journalistic standards have devolved into left-right talking heads who bicker on TV for fun and profit.
Koppel writes this new kind of hyper-partisan "news" comes from "a national sense of entitlement."
He goes on to say:
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Like children, Koppel says, we are too-easily flattered into believing that anything that matches our closed worldview is inherently true. But flattery is not what we need right now, he writes -- we need something that is in sadly short supply: facts.
Koppel goes on to blame the race for profits: once broadcast news became a profit center, its fate was sealed. News divisions would need to do whatever it took to keep the profits coming.
But -- as I wrote yesterday and as Koppel discusses here -- we're also to blame. We are too comfortable in our closed-off info-worlds of left vs. right -- and the internet and cable television and Twitter and Facebook make it too easy for us to live there twenty-four hours a day.