Thursday, July 21, 2005

nytimes: judge posner on the media and polarization

jul 21st

very interesting article on the american media.

the parallels with the indian media are worth considering.

and the rise of the blogosphere is seen in largely positive terms.

posner is a well-known judge; i forget which famous appeals case he ruled on (perhaps microsoft's).


Dric said...

Hi Folks,

The Hindu newspaper says that Marx could be the HERO of this century.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article by Judge Posner. Of late , there has been a lot of ruckus about The media in the US being more liberal than the people. It is true in a way but not in the negative way that judge Posner describes. Ron Suskind in his election-eve article last november( NY times) described what the conservatives call the liberal media as the 'reality based ' community and the white house people calling themselves as people who make their own reality as they are leading an empire. The conservatives in india have learnt a lot of the conservatives in the US by exploiting wedge issues. if it is abortion and taxes here in the US , it is Ram temple and uniform civil code there in India.
Reading through all the opinions of Rajeev, It makes me feel that He would be supporting the democrats here in the US and the Right wingers in India. Can we know your true US political leanings Mr Srinivasan?
The conservatives/republicans in the US complain about the Liberal nature of the media here in the US, so what? after all they are reality based community. The root of advancement and ascent of the US in the world scene can be attributed the NEW Deal democrats of the FDR and later. The left leaning democrats have organized and got together to solve the problems of this country atleast in the last 70 years. what the republicans want is war-mongering and more war-mongering.
So what do you think Mr Srinivasan The New Deal was a socialist revolution?, and you whole heartedly support the war-mongers?
Gopal Krishna, NH

jai hind said...

I think its a little far fetched to say that democrats were responsible for solving the problems for 70 yrs and it is equally prepostorous to claim that "what the republicans want is war-mongering and more war-mongering". After all bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki was not on the order of a Republican President and specially when Japan was almost at the point of surrendering. If Bush is a villian so was Truman who bombed innocent civilians sans warning.
But the point here is not who's villian and who's hero. What essentially is happening today is American society like any other is a very polarised society. Its like 'if you are not with us, you are against us' syndrome. And this polarisation is being reflected in the media too. The media tends to be politically correct, as in the journalists want us to believe that they always speak for the oppressed or the under dogs. So in some sense even if you are against , lets say a jihadi, you cannot proclaim so loudly as that will automatically bring you closer to a conservative. The problem with liberals whether they are in US or India is that, because they do not want to hear "We told you so" from the right wing they pretend that nothing has happened and tend to find a justification in any crime under terror.
Lets apply a cause and effect logic here.
The classic example one can take is that of the Godhra train burning.
Lets say for the benefit of argument that some Hindu fanatics did have a fight with a muslim tea vendor. Did that justify burning of 27 women and 15 children in that train. But believe it or not the liberals in the media did trivialise that horrendous crime and wanted to pass it off as an accident. Now this is rubbing more salt on the wounds. There was no denouncement of this crime from the 'secularists' and there was no statement deploring this act. On the other hand there was the talk of "please maintain peace" from all the secularists. Would these same secular liberals have behaved like this had 57 Muslims been killed by a mob on the train. They would have turned the world with war cries. The liberals double standards is mind blowing.
The fact is Godhra was the cause and 2003 Gujarat was the effect. Modi or no Modi, the effect would have been same. Similarly whether Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister or somebody else was in his place, 10,000 Sikhs would have died in riots spread over months even if army in Dehli was deployed. (Its a different thing that liberals do not recall Delhi riots in India & Hiroshima in USA).

We are global citizens and its not fair to ask someone to be either on this side or that side. For instance I may be against the conservatives on issue of abortion or stem cell and may be in favour on issue of war on terror. So does it make me a pseudo-conservative or a pseudo-liberal?
I may be against the Ram temple in Ayodhya, but i am in favour of Uniform Civil Code. So what does it make me? Communal or pseudo-nationalist.

Why can't i have issue based opinion? I feel Sheila Dixit Government is good and i will like to vote for Congress if I was in Delhi, but I can never vote for Congress if Sonia Gandhi or any member of the Gandhi family becomes PM, simply because I don't think that
in a democracy only one family has the divine right to rule us.
So whether i am a pro-Congress or an anti-Congress?

The issue really is how do we come out of this "either you are with us or against us" logic?

Believe me if the liberals of world do come out against the terrorists with equal intensity they will automatically weaken the conservatives. But they never come against them with fervour.
The liberals like to live in the make believe world that they can induce a change of heart in those hard core criminals. And worst part is they want all of us to live in that make believe world.
The hard fact is when terror attacks its the very liberty and freedom that is so dear to the liberals that gets attacked.

san said...

What ridiculous nonsense, Gopal. You're conveying all sorts of assertions as fact based on Ron Suskind. Who died and made him God? Liberals are not the reality-based community simply because Suskind says so. Liberals are the naive idealists who have frittered away the hard-won earnings by those who put their nose to the grindstone. Liberals are the authors of the welfare state, and we can see the results of that garbage philosophy. When you look at the Fabian Socialism pursued by Nehru, these are precisely the policies of the Liberals taken to greater extremes, and thus the commensurately worse poverty created in India. Looking at other countries with strong Conservative policies, they share higher standards of living and quality of life. Gopal, it's an ugly shame that you are putting the blinders on and only trying to see what you want to see. The result will be the continued impoverishment of India, which in no way pricks the conscience of the cocksure Left. The Liberal media in the US are not reality-based, but are rather Ivory Towers resistant to the reality of the masses. Hence, we see the Liberal Media like the New York Times going out of their way to take swipes at blogs, because blogs are the direct product of the masses, and the Liberal Ivory Towers fear the masses, whom they disingenuously pretend to represent. It is for the same reason that Liberals tend to disdain the idea of one-person-one-vote and instead try to work through courts, special interest lobbies, panels and other unelected institutions to push through their view past the voices of the masses. Reality = People, and liberals are definitely not ones to cede power to the people. Once India adopts more conservative policies, the quality of life will improve, but not before.And we can see after all, the past 50 years of poverty under Nehruvian Socialism, contrasted with the current growth years as the country moves away from Socialism. Gopal, people like you who parrot these clever-by-half rationalizations have only helped to contribute to India's downward spiral. Hopefully the ignorance that you are regurgitating will be overcome, so that the people can be emancipated from the People's Democratic Republic of Liberalism (we all know how such pretentiously high-minded catch-words tend to be associated with exactly the opposite behavior)

Anonymous said...

The Democrats were in control of the congress and senate for better part of the 70 years of the New Deal . if people dont know how the congress , senate and the whole political system in the US works , then they can feign ignorance. If the liberals had not sidelined the conservatives for more than a generation the you wouldnt seen the spite of the Karl Rove and his likes.
Only in 1994 that they democrats lost the hold and congress and senate and what have we seen ever since?
Indian origin people who support the republicans do that because they feel they are as whites as the majority block of the republican party. I pity all of them.
If you have a problem with Harry Truman of the 30s or 40s ,I have a a problem with Strom Thurmonds, John Ashcrofts and Trent lotts of the present generation and without any exception they are all in the republican all the indians who support the republicans , go ahead and prove that you are as fake as the color of skin you pretending to have