Saturday, October 04, 2008

finding the needle in the haystack

One of the hazards of reading widely in the blogosphere is that one is subjected to all sorts of claims of fact and truth. Making matters even more complex are the extremely powerful ways in which some of these claims are presented.
Take for example this video called "Burning Down the House" making the rounds on the internet. It is a ten minute parade of bold print assertions and file photos that are supposed to add up to an argument whose thesis is that the present financial meltdown has its origins in the Clinton administration with the Community Reinvestment Act and its pernicious effects on the free market. It further argues that valiant but unsuccessful Republican efforts to strengthen regulation of the subprime situation were thwarted by Democrats who were in the pocket of and beholden to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
It concludes with a series of conspiratorial offerings about Obama which have the effect of making him the personification of all that is responsible for the mess our country finds itself in. I confess that I found the video challenging on a visceral level (though too long), so much so that I did a little digging to see if I could in any way verify the soundness of its claims.
Interestingly, I found an analysis of this very argument in Business Week. You can read it here. I wonder though, given the opportunity to view the video, how many people take the trouble to find let alone read a piece like the one I linked to?
In today's media environment, people have lots of choices. One of the choices we have is to be infromed or not. It's really nobody else's fault if we are not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It appears that a huge percentage of this country belongs to the group I call "sheeple". They believe every ridiculous email they get, the take every national leader at their word, and they vote accordingly.
I was recently shocked and horrified to hear the ramblings of someone that I (until now) considered to be intelligent and a pillar of his community. He actually urged people to not vote for Obama because he was Muslim. His reasoning? "Look at his name". Obviously, if your name rhymes with a terrorist's name, you must be a terrorist. That would make me either John Wayne, Walker Texas Ranger's girlfriend, or maybe a member of the IRA. Brilliant.
The point to my ramblings is this: it looks like roughly 135 million people in this country would rather vote for another dangerous white guy than think about or investigate anything for themselves. Good grief!
Erin Cahill (who obviously cannot be trusted with a name like that).

8:00 AM  

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