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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

My Evil Excerpter Is In The Red Zone

Far be it from me to characterize Ereic Alterman on the basis of his interview with the Calpundit. However, the Altered One seems to be surprised to learn that on television appearances, discussions are often oversimplified, and sound-bites rule. If we had a front page, I would tear it out.

But that is not what nearly blew up my Evil Excerpter. No, it was this quote from Alterman, which I think ought to be put on the head of his blog:

"I don’t even really believe in the idea of facts..."

Oh, how great is that! And how convenient for me - if he doesn't believe in facts, then I don't believe I will bother to rebut whatever fantasy he is presenting in his book debunking the myth of a liberal media.

Nag, nag, nag. OK, let's put in context. Surprisingly, it spoils my fun less than you might think:

"CalPundit: Some people think that we should just give up on the whole idea of an objective media, go to the European model....

Alterman: Yeah, I said that in Sound & Fury. I still believe that. I don’t even really believe in the idea of facts or opinions. I believe in context. I believe there are certain things you need to know to understand the story, and they’re not necessarily factual and they’re not necessarily opinion, but they could be either one.

To tell you the truth, I think Fox does a better job of covering the news than CNN or MSNBC, because they have a context, it’s understandable, it makes some sense, whereas at MSNBC and CNN the news just comes at you as if from outer space, it’s news from nowhere. I don’t watch cable news, but if I did I would watch Fox. Assuming there was nobody with a context that I share.

News as competing storylines. Fine.

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