Sunday, July 17, 2005


I'm not sure if can call this an official end to my fast, or just a midnight snack, but I've decided to add a couple of news sources to my meager media survival gruel.

First, there's a couple of new blogs in my regular rotation:

relentlessly optimistic (nice title, isn't it?)

But those don't really count, because what I'm really trying to get away from is the onslaught of info that comes from folks who make money onslaughting us with it.

So it's with some embarrassment and regret that I must admit here that I've been lured into relapse by the good folks at NPR and PRI and KCUR. And the simple reason is this: It's good stuff to listen to when I'm chopping vegetables.

Moreover, I'm beginning to develop a bit of a routine on Sunday nights, listening to KC Currents and then the documentary that follows as I prepare salads and such for the coming week.

So I'm not even sure it's still accurate to say I'm on a news fast anymore. Moreover, I'm not sure this is going to end at Labor Day weekend. What I think is happening is I'm becoming more choosy about what I let into my brain. There's so damn much media out there, so much info, so much noise, that I think it might well be a matter of survival to severely limit its flow.

When I was following a bunch of news sites and blogs everyday, two things happened. At best, all the info started to sound the same and it lacked meaning. At worst, it depressed the hell out of me, or made me angry.

It's interesting now to look at my list of media sources, how the overwhelming majority are blogs by neighborly folks. This is a good thing, I think. It's sort of like going back in time, when news-sharing was more of a community event. I think of the folks who write the blogs I read as friends, even those I've never met, so I trust them, and I appreciate the way they spin the news for me. I know it's not spin for the sake of some other motive, such as profit, or -- as is often the case at news organizations -- for the sake of better access down the road.

But even more than that, I like the way blogs mix the personal with the political. In blogs, so-called mundane human events get just as much if not more ink than so-called newsmaking events. I find comfort in this.

And then there's radio, which has made its way back into the mix.

For one, I have to be honest, I've recently made friends with some of the folks at KCUR, so there's a bloggy quality to my following their work. But there's also the convenience of it. I can do other stuff while I get informed.

And that, my dear friends, is why I think Bush's cronies are going after NPR. It's got real mass appeal, but it's not as easily spun as the Today Show -- lies don't resonate for as long on Morning Edition as they do on Good Morning America. So, naturally, they want to shut it down.

How's that for a rambling post? Kind of reminds me of a scene from an old W.C. Fields movie:
Reporter: Professor, what's your opinion of Dr. Chang's invention?

Professor: Worthless!

Reporter: The invention?!

Professor: My opinion.

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