There’s always something to howl about

Sequim Real Estate Blogger Dumbs Down America

I am a serial blogger and an Internet aficionado, but I had to read a book in print (yes they still make them) to learn that I am a member of an evil clan of bloggers who are dumbing down America.  In fact, according to this book, all who blog on this site are guilty of dumbing down American.  More than that, after reading only the Preface to the book, I began to realize that bloggers (that would be me) are responsible for the destruction of America, since America’s great structure of freedom is built upon the foundation of a free press of objective and independent journalists.  Since learning this from on high via the great journalists Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols in their authoritative work, The Death and Life of American Journalism, I commenced a concerted effort to reconcile myself to the sacred truths of journalism.

While prostrated in prayer on my knees encircled by burning candles late one evening, I fell asleep during my meditation and managed to bruise my elbow in the fall.  Fortunately, my elbow didn’t hurt, since I had also burned myself on the open flames of several candles and that hurt worse than the elbow.  The burns from the flames, however, were relatively minor in comparison to the greater discomfort from the hot wax that splashed all over my neck and face.  Since then, I have begun to consider the possibility that McChesney and Nichols may be incorrect.

I went back to their book.  Here are two true professional journalists with resumes longer than my life, writers for major newspapers, professors of the world, and experience that made my head spin, so who am I to question their wisdom and penultimate conclusions.  (Sorry, I just like to use the word “penultimate.”)  Here is how these objective journalists started their book.

In each of the first three paragraphs of the first page of the Preface, they praise President Obama for various things.  One gets the idea that they believe he is not only the savior of the world (little “s”) but the savior of journalism.  Yet was it not Obama who used the Internet to raise a billion dollars and to rally millions of voters around the country through Internet cells created in Facebook with the founder of Facebook?  In the context of a book which purports to argue that the Internet and bloggers are dumbing down Americans and that we are the cause of destroying true journalism, their praise of Obama  in the cause of saving journalism seems oddly out of sync with their arguments against Internet users.  You’ve got to love it when those claiming to think clearly make such fuzzy and inarticulate arguments.

The book is a must read for anyone who either has trouble sleeping, or is a masochist.  I do not have trouble sleeping, and pain makes me uncomfortable. Frankly, I find many bloggers to be more accurate in their writing, more articulate, and more honest than McChesney and Nichols.  The Internet has unleashed an entirely new and more powerful form of journalism that gets news to the world almost instantly.  Tweeters in Haiti reported the tragedies and the needs when newspapers could not, unless they got their news from bloggers.  Now that’s an interesting twist:  Professional journalists relying upon bloggers like us.  Oh wait, perhaps we are dumbing down Americans.

Dumb and Dumber was one of my favorite movies, so I think I will continue to write on this dumb blog and on my dumber blog at Sequim Real Estate.


4 Comments so far

  1. Jim Klein March 31st, 2010 6:39 am

    That was wonderful, Chuck; thank you. In keeping with the logic of the book, all I can add is that being dumb never seemed so brilliant!

  2. Bob Stahl March 31st, 2010 8:10 am


    Seriously, though, the rise of the common man’s “news” has changed not only the way people share and process information, but maybe also the way people think about things.

    That said, I’m an avid blogger, too, and I think my readers (as yours) would agree that they’re more informed (or entertained, at least) for having read my posts. Yet that is certainly not true for a lot of bloggers. . .But hey, rock on free speech!

  3. Al Lorenz March 31st, 2010 8:21 am

    Were all the world so dumb as the folks who visit this blog, the world would not be so dumb!

  4. Mark Madsen March 31st, 2010 2:37 pm

    It’s funny, I’m designing one of my blogs based on the theme.

    Yep, even Obama’s website is built on a blogging platform. But, I’m sure Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols left that fact out of their book as well.

    btw – I bet you can find a good remedy for your burned elbow on one of these government health blogs: