Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Identifying lies told by powerful political leaders -- and describing them as such -- is what good journalists do, by definition. It's the crux of adversarial journalism, of a "watchdog" press. "Objectivity" does not require refraining from pointing out the falsity of government claims. The opposite is true; objectivity requires that a journalist do exactly that: treat factually false statements as false. "Objectivity" is breached not when a journalist calls a lie a "lie," but when they refuse to do so, when they treat lies told by powerful political officials as though they're viable, reasonable interpretations of subjective questions. The very idea that a journalist is engaged in "opinion-making" or is "taking sides" by calling a lie a "lie" is ludicrous; the only "side" such a journalist is taking is with facts, with the truth. It's when a journalist fails to identify a false statement as such that they are "taking sides" -- they're siding with those in power by deceitfully depicting their demonstrably false statements as something other than lies.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Barnet's language, the language of gift exchange, has procreation at its root. Generosity comes from genere (Old Latin: beget, produce), and the generations are its consequence, as are the gens, the clans. At its source in both Greek and Sanskrit, liberality is its desire; libido is its modern cousin. Virtue's root is a sex (vir, the man), and virility is its action. Virtue, like the gift, moves through a person, and has a procreative or healing power (as in the Bible story about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment in the faith that it would heal her: "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned about in the press and said, 'Who touched my clothes?'").
Friday, February 11, 2011
all--or even a little--of what the events unfolding in Egypt mean.
Nevertheless, I find myself pretty exhilarated by what I've been watching. I hope it turns out beautifully, though I know it might turn out dismally. Let's hope for better than what it could be.