Marty Kaplan, a Media Scholar, sat down with Bill Moyers to discuss “info-tainment” and the way Americans are tragically blinded by the current state of the news. At the beginning of the interview he declared that, as Americans, “we can’t help loving lurid stories and suspense and the kind of sex and violence that the news is now made up of.”
Kaplan reflected on the motives for the protests in Brazil and stated his disappointment in how Americans fail to recognize the ways they are similarly burdened by journalism and government.
The control of our democracy by money is shocking and deserves the same kind of response to corruption that it got in Brazil and instead we have become used to it. We don’t see a way around it. There are voices, like Larry Lessig that are trying to change the campaign finance system, the way media plays into that, but they are voices in the wilderness. We, the public, have wised up and decided either not to pay attention at all, or the media have decided to force us not to pay attention and if we do pay attention you can’t live with the knowledge that our democracy is so corrupt that it is unchangeable.
We have been taught to be helpless and jaded rather than to feel that we are empowered and can make a difference.
The stuff that is being reported on the news tends not to be the kind of stuff that we need to know about in order to be outraged.
The video is 25 minutes long and worth every second of your time. If you needed some validation for getting your news from The Daily Show, The Colbert Report or any other satire program… this is it.