Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rejecting the idea of disinterested knowledge

I'm hardly the first to observe that one of the gravest problems with this Presidency is its default instinct to close communications channels, to release only "helpful" information.

Part of the instinct to close communications channels comes from the Bush regime's perception that the very notion of a free press is a farce. The media, as far as the Bush regime is concerned, are just another industry out to make money. Even leaving aside the alleged liberal bias of the press, the Bush regime basically looks at the press as being a corrupting social force that profits by promoting scandal and dissent. The notion that the press actually serves a useful communications purpose for the country -- the idea of "a fourth estate" -- is regarded as sentimental poppycock.

Don't most Americans think there ought to be some social instution charged with creating and distributing disinterested information, to keep the citizens informed on the critical matters of the day, without regard for political benefit?

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