May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
April 13, 2007
/ 25 Nissan, 5767
A nation of nincompoops
I am sick to death of Don Imus, and I'm tired of hearing his disgusting rant against the Rutgers women's basketball team. I don't care who fathered the daughter of trampy Anna Nicole Smith, nor was I interested in what killed the blowsy blonde or where she would be buried.
I don't need to know that the nutty astronaut who drove cross-country to confront her lover's other girlfriend wore diapers to cut down on her pit stops. I can't understand why the sight of police vehicles chasing speeding cars down interstates holds hypnotic power over millions of television viewers. Nor do I wait breathlessly for word on the latest missing coed who disappeared while on spring break or the hapless wife whose cheating husband dumped her body in San Francisco Bay.
Don't get me wrong. For those people who want to know who's sleeping or feuding with whom in Hollywood, or have an endless appetite for the macabre or just plain weird, there are plenty of resources available to get their fix, from the relatively respectable People magazine to the myriad pulp tabloids at the checkout stand, not to mention shows like "Access Hollywood" or cable channels like E! and Fox Reality.
But why must network news shows and serious newspapers, not to mention cable news stations, cover these insignificant stories ad nauseam? Blame it on the 24-hour "news" cycle. Admit it: There just isn't enough real news to fill 24 hours of programming a day. On some days, there's not even two or three hours' worth.
It used to be that television news followed the lead of the big, prestigious print media. If a story appeared on the front page of The New York Times or Washington Post, it led the nightly network newscast. But cable news changed that. A breaking story could be instantly covered and was old news by the time the paper came out the next morning. So, newspapers increasingly followed television's lead on some stories.
In the past, however, the print media could usually be counted on to provide more depth than a two-minute TV story. Even more importantly, newspapers could discriminate between legitimate news and fluff, relegating the latter to the style and entertainment pages in the back of the paper.
No more. Now, in the rush to attract readers, the silliest stories appear alongside the latest news from the Iraq war or the reversal of a longstanding Supreme Court precedent.
And the vicious cycle got worse as cable news increasingly turned to sensational stories with little substance in the search for more and more viewers. A fire in a warehouse in Duluth? Send in the cameras so millions can watch it burn. A raunchy pop singer forgets her underwear when she goes partying? Flash the pictures every 20 minutes making sure her private parts are blurred just enough to satisfy the Federal Communications Commission while still titillating viewers.
We seem to be losing the ability to distinguish what is noteworthy from what is simply notorious. And in the process, we are creating greater celebrity for people who don't deserve it.
Don Imus is a crank. But his bigoted remarks have made him more famous than anything he's done in the past and will probably attract more listeners when he returns to his ornery morning show than he has ever had. MSNBC and CBS may have cancelled him for now, but he'll be back, and when he returns, ratings will go up. And we can thank the "news" coverage Imus has received when they do.
Is it any wonder that more people can probably identify Sanjaya than their own senator? We are becoming a nation of nincompoops. And in a democracy, that's a worrisome thing.
We live in a dangerous and complicated world in which we're asked to make difficult decisions with too little information. The news media have always played an important role in getting us the facts to inform those choices. But they are quickly abdicating that role in lieu of entertaining us.
It almost makes me hanker for the 15-minute news broadcasts of my youth. At least Chet Huntley and David Brinkley could be counted on to report real news and leave the entertainment to Ed Sullivan and Sid Caesar.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)
Linda Chavez Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K