Skip navigation.
The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

80% of Republicans are Uninformed Democrats

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. came to speak at the University of North Texas recently about environmental responsibility, media responsibilities, and the role corporations now have in our society.

He was insistent that there must be a middle ground between capitalism and the government. The current government has tried to control the shared resources of air and water, which belong to the state (not to TXU) to pollute. By privatizing the resources, like air and water, it is creating pollution.

The Bush administration has appointed some of the top 100 polluters to the heads of environmental agencies. The majority of citizens able to vote are not aware of this problem.

Kennedy made a wonderful point dealing with today’s media. The information being covered by today’s media is determined by ratings and corporations. This leads to the spread of “popular” news, not substantial news. In 1988, Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine, which led to the unfair and biased reporting allowed today. The coverage we see today filled with celebrity gossip, which takes the focus off the real issues, with which we need to be dealing. With the smallest amount of war reporters ever, it is evident we are not being well informed about the true situation occurring overseas. Since stockholders have a say on the content of the news they hold shares in, it is for profit, and guess what, sex and scandal sell.

When our society originated, the uninformed were looked upon as a detriment to the nation. I say it is still the case. Is it possible to pass legislation which makes the public stay informed with unbiased information? Is it time to forcibly educate the masses?

What the fairness doctrine would really do

Grace, I think it's a mistake to assume that a reintroduced "fairness doctrine" would lead people to watch the news. After all, what it required was not that hard news be balanced with gossip, but that the left be balanced with the right. Moreover, don't you think that a restriction on how news is presented actually scare off broadcast networks from even touching controversial issues, for fear someone claims they didn't represent something fairly, and then they get sued? I sure think that would happen. And I think they would replace it with... yes, more entertainment news.

I work for the NAB in DC, so I have my own professional reasons for not wanting it returned, but I think these are reasons you would agree with, too.

Excellent point

I see your concerns for fear of coverage over controversial issues when referring to the original Fairness Doctrine; however, some version of it would not be terrible or unwarranted.
My main stand on this issue is dealing with the "gossip" television. Some networks, which I'm sure you're aware, are blocking this type of coverage.
I am curious if Americans should have the right to choose the popular news or the educated news, in order to make our society a better place.

I don't see how it's possible

to pass a law making the choice for people about what they watch, be it news or entertainment. I don't much like the idea of forcing people to do much (I am libertarian that way) but I also don't know how society would be able to agree about *what* to force people to watch. 20 minutes of hard news daily? Written by whom? I trust the market and I trust people, even if I believe they will make the wrong decisions. To quote Jon Voigt in the movie Heat: "It's a free country, brother."

The answer is better childhood education, I think. Better educations should create more people who are naturally interested in the real news. Of course, I don't know enough to know what that would be...

Is Jon Voight a progressive hero?

I realize it is an extreme view to take on the situation to force people to watch credible news, but my frustrations usurp my reasoning from time-to-time. I know it will not be possible to completely change the content of news to only intelligent topics, but a girl can hope.

Education is a great preemptive way to combat stupidity, but what about the generations already past formal education.

People are as ignorant as their community allows it to become. To quote Tom Hanks "Stupid is as stupid does."


I would like to note that Voight's character in "Heat" was talking to Robert De Niro's character about plans to rob a bank when he said the line quoted above.

Not to knock "Heat" in any's one of my five favorite movies of all time.

Heat is also def one of my

Heat is also def one of my fave-raves.

Syndicate content