Wednesday, October 20, 2004

In defense of "partisan hacks"

Jon Stewart, Amber Taylor, and numerous others are fed up with the "partisan hacks" who yell at one another on television, all in the name of making journalism "fair and balanced." Today, one of my professors suggested (in reference to a French novel; the subject of current American politics had not, until this point, come up) that the reason American political discourse gets so nasty, especially around election time, is that the tension that often leads to instability and even civil war in non-democracies is, in democracies, channelled into things like "Crossfire." My professor also noted that it is thus silly to criticize the "lost civility" of American political discourse, both because it was never civil to begin with and because the uncivil discourse is our stand-in for actual civil unrest. I'd have to say that I'm with my professor on this one. I'd also like to add that, if we didn't have "talking heads" but instead had something more along the lines of the French ultra-intellectual show, "Bouillon de Culture" (which, by the way, is not, sadly, a French version of E!'s show "Talk Soup"), Americans might not pay as much attention to politics.

1 comment:

Alex B. said...

My favourite French intellectual TV show ever is "Culture et dépendances" with Franz Olivier Giesbert. Writers, academics and other ivory tower people debate a given topic for two hours. I even think you might be able to watch it on TV5 in the U.S. of A.
http://cultureetdependances.france3.fr/