In Today's Political Environment, as has happened in the recent past, the vicious nature of public commentary is again forcing Rational Discourse to the sidelines. You cannot turn on the Radio or Television, without hearing the incoherent rambling of some Political Pundit. Insults, Threats and Bad Information are the norm. Modern Technology has changed the very nature of how Political and Social debate is now conducted in the Public Spectrum, in comparison to Decades past. I am of course referring to Cable Television and the Internet.
Before the worldwide expansion of the Internet, and the introduction of Cable Television into private homes, Political News, Commentary and Review Programs represented a very small part of what was broadcast over the air. Prior to the 1980s most homes received programming from the three major Networks: CBS, NBC and ABC, and maybe several local UHF Channels and PBS. Legendary shows such as SEE IT NOW, SIXTY MINUTES, MACNEIL\ LEHRER and the National Evening News provided the vast majority of Over the Air viewing regarding Political News and Information.
Additionally, Newspapers and Magazines, once Bastions of "In- Depth" Investigative Reporting and "From the Scene" Articles , are now struggling to stay afloat financially. The Reason: In the past, these elements of the Media prided themselves on the Professionalism, Integrity, Honesty and Accuracy of the information they presented to the public, and this led to the trust and esteem that the News Media relied on to succeed.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of so-called "News Stations and Programs", and the ability to place anything on the Internet regardless of Truth or Lack of Critical Construction or Validity, has led to the rapid increase in Bogus, Irrational, Racist, Bigoted, Homophobic etc. news items. Such Reporting will never make it past the Editorial Standards of true Journalistic Professionals, who value truth and integrity.
The real sadness is not the Irrational or Closed- Minded people who report and thrive off the Hate and Misery they feel, and want to inflict on others through false and misleading information. These people have probably always been with us, and maybe always will. However, Moral Cowardice does not challenge or refute information known to be wrong, and allows this Bullying of the Innocent to continue without confrontation or contradiction.
Look for PT 4.