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Louts like Ibish and the enchanted world of the media.

Reader comment on item: My Media Year

Submitted by James Curry (Mexico), Sep 12, 2002 at 18:13

The mass medium of television news has almost nothing to do with informing the public, reporting on the issues and events of the day, analyzing cutlural, social, and political problems, etc. Television news is primarily about ENTERTAINMENT; providing canned "debate" between celebrity "experts" to a passive audience too brain-dead to debate the issues and great questions of the day among themselves.

Pipes is absolutely right about Ibish--the guy is an obnoxious lout spreading a distorted view of the Middle East. But this is an irrevelancy for the postmodern cult of celebrity journalism (which exists on both the right and the left).

Ibish meets all three of the important criteria to be a celebrity debater.

1) He has a take, i.e., he has something to say and some kind of credential which gives him "legitimacy" as a speaker (e.g., organizational leadership position, academic posision or degree, previous record of publication, or, increasingly, mere designation as a celebrity talker for reasons having nothing to do with any special knowledge, real or assumed--see the appalling television show "Politically Correct" for an example of this);

2) He can speak English well enough to be easily understood on television; and,

3) most importantly, he is entertaining. His lies, distortions, and outrageous positions are just what the "news" talk shows are looking for. Show hosts and his fellow guests, along with the TV audience, get riled up and the sparks fly. That's entertainment!
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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