Departing from the Herd
You must have heard that there's a new museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Called the Newseum, it's a half-billion-dollar temple to the First Amendment and the professional news industry. You didn't really need to read all the dozens of stories about it, because they pretty much all said the same thing. Too bad they couldn't have used the money to instead endow a newspaper (I'd agree with that) and how ironic that it's being opened now, when the media is in such notable decline. On and on went the media herd, repeating each other ad nauseum, like editorial robots.
It wasn't until I came across this piece, in a refreshing online-only magazine called Flak, that I finally learned something new about this museum: that it subtly, or perhaps not-so-subtly, tilts its message rightward. That wouldn't be too surprising, given that the main force behind it is the Gannett Foundation, controlled by the idiot founder of USA Today, Alan Neuharth (famous for his editorial edict in the early days of McPaper to put the "tits above the fold" when publishing a photo of a pretty woman on page one). Anyway, it was nice to finally read a fresh take on a tired subject. And it took an obscure, underfunded publication (which operates on an all-volunteer basis) to deliver it all up. I think there's a lesson in there somewhere for the news industry as it obsesses about its future.