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Oderberg on the mainstream media

Courtesy of MercatorNet.com: Professor David Oderberg’s lecture “Appearance and reality: what Plato can teach journalists and the media,” recently given at a seminar on journalism and ethics at Christ Church, University of Oxford.

Comments (4)

Interesting. Is it just me, or does Oderberg appear to be being a bit ginger in avoiding coming out and talking about left-wing bias per se? It seems implicit in a fair bit of what he is saying, but he never comes out and says it, that I saw. He also almost seems unaware of outright postmodern attacks on the very possibility of knowing or reporting objective truth, leading to open "advocacy" journalism as part of the power struggle which is all that there is (according to the postmodern view).

I would say that his proposal for trust-busting in Old Media (toward the end) is probably unnecessary. The monopoly is, as he points out, already under attack from alternative media.

The really great danger now is that the left will come in to try to rescue Old Media, restoring its monopoly with a vengeance through government attacks on the Internet. See here, for example:


And no, I don't think his claim of "irony" is worth the pixels it's written in. As a commentator at VFR said, "How much more Soviet do these guys have to get...?"

Re: Plato's cave. There is a portion of Greek myth intertwined with caves.

The problem is that there is no longer any source of objective and trusted information. In previous generations, Americans could turn to reliable sources of information, for example, reportage from newspapers, television, and radio news departments. Who wouldn't trust Edward R. Morrow or Walter Cronkite to tell us what was really happening in our world. These days, you can't find "fair and balanced" news anywhere.

Too much information these days is tainted with an agenda, whether political, religious, economic, or some other. The influence of this information is so powerful that some people are believing and supporting policies that are not in their best interests.

Reason's article "The Paranoid Center" is a scathing rebuttal to this sort of thinking.

We were warned. Kierkegaard couldn't say enough bad things about the press, Nietzsche also, Schopenhauer before either.
We have developed a new mental category, sustained idiocy, in part thanks to the creatures that dwell in the netherworld of our media. The people have been only partly conditioned, instead they have let themselves be guided where their hearts were to begin with.
A bit strange that Odegard offers Plato as the guide from the cave. I realize there are a plethora of opinions on the great man, but Plato shares something with the media that ought to be emphasized, namely the self identified Knower, the self anointed Wise. A strain that crosses the boundaries of history, more explicit with the receding of Christian society, a secular gnosticism brilliantly commented on by Voegelin.
Plato knows the poor dopes in the cave see but shadows, pity them. The media, boorish jackels that they are, are dualists, their admiration and faith divided between themselves and government. I daresay there is a thin line between Plato's Guardians and how the slugs of the media see themselves.
But still, how low have we sunk !

"Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists is the end form of progressive civilization."
E. V.

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