Friday, July 28, 2006

DeLong is wrong. As usual.
Quoting from comments on comments [none of mine]:
"This post, like a number of others recently, is too hard on the journalist. Unlike, say, the UK, we don't have an adversarial or partisan tradition of press coverage in the U.S. The journalist has to report what both sides say."
He doesn't have to. He just does. It is, as you say, a tradition and traditions cease to apply when they are not observed. But it's not the fact that he reports what both sides say that is the problem. It's that having done so he (and most of his American journalistic colleagues) refuses to then take what both sides say, compare them with other evidence and come to a conclusion. It's not about being adversarial, it's about being brave enough to make explicit judgments.
But you can't make judgments and be 'objective.' Language itself is a slippery slope. Where is the line after all between idea and ideology? And who chooses?
No: you can not assume that the press will not suck up to power. DeLong's economic realism -he's not idealistic enough to be even a social democrat- somehow becomes idealism when he's dealing with the press. The press should for some reason be incorruptible. By that logic prosecutors should double as defense attorneys, and people- some people, but who?- should be able to be counted on to act without self-interest. DeLong thinks self-interest is noble when the products that come out of it are "cool" but he sets himself as an example of classical virtue. Greed is a value except when it's not.

In fact: The world exists but an objective view of it does not. The British press is better than ours because it is both higher and lower, and The Simpsons are on Fox.
Self-interest is inevitable but is not a moral value.
Case closed.
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Anyone who's witnessed DeLong going apeshit over Chomsky, social anthropology or Jared Diamond understands DeLong better than he understands himself. Confidence, arrogance, and a lack of self-awareness...

update #2
Down the memory hole:
Israeli contribution to conflict is forgotten by leading papers.

Where's DeLong? He feigns objectivity. He lies to himself and to the rest of us. Be engaged and history will be the judge. All awareness is partial, all justice imperfect. As with this crap. "Utilitarian Materialism vs Deontological Idealism."
How about Economic Liberalism and Individualism vs. the Anarcho-Conservativism of working class Catholic communities?

Which side are you on?

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