Fortunately, the Dying Do Die
Fortunately, the Dying Do Die by Robert Gore – Straight Line Logic
Deaths that won’t be widely mourned.
It is deeply satisfying to see the New York Times headline: “The Last Days of Time Inc.” One dying mainstream media organ writing the obituary of another. What could be better? It illustrates two truisms that sometimes get lost in the shuffle: things change, and the dying eventually die. For those of us who want things to change—not incrementally, bit by bit, but radically—and see sundry people, practices, and institutions depart this vale of tears sooner rather than later, the headline is pure hope.
Only 29 years ago Time Inc. was on top of the journalistic pile, flush enough to pay Warner Communications $14.9 billion for 51 percent of the company. The thing that changed was the internet, which skewered Time the New York Times, and countless other businesses, media and non-media alike.
If you’re of the same ideological persuasion as the mainstream media, you ascribe the internet’s ascendancy to its technological superiority and hastily move on. By this reckoning, old-line newspapers and magazines got caught in the same crosshairs as bookstores, record companies, and department stores. What’s ignored is the voice the internet gave to those not of the same ideological persuasion.
Since World War II, the media has crawled into bed with the government; they warm each other on chilly nights. Mainstream debate has devolved into how many government-approved angels can dance on the head of a government-approved pin. Will the deficit be $800 or $900 billion this year? For regime change, which works better, sponsoring internal insurrection, bombing campaigns, or both? Will Social Security go broke in 2034 or 2035?
There has always been news that wasn’t news because it wasn’t true. That’s an acceptable downside of a free press. You can’t give control of what gets published to the government and its minions to “protect” people from lies. It would take perhaps fifteen minutes for government-approved truth to become government-approved spin, propaganda, and lies. The truth’s only chance is press freedom, aggressive journalism (now found almost exclusively on the internet), and letting people sort things out on their own.