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BTC: Silly questions


 

From the Canadian Press wrap-up of Dion’s first week.

“Seemingly at home at last in a university setting, the former academic’s responses to student questions ran to three minutes in an age when a 15-second sound byte is considered too long.”

From the Sun’s Greg Weston.

“Despite the Liberals having some of the smartest strategists in politics, Dion is only slowly starting to grasp the reality that modern election campaigns aren’t travelling academic seminars — they are backdrops for a series of 10-second sound bites.”

Is the complaint here with Dion or the political system at present? If it’s Dion, would we not rather our politicians spoke in nuance and specifics? Would that not better reflect the complicated issues that are being discussed? Or do we truly believe that the sound bite is our most enlightened form of expression? If we don’t, if our complaint is with the system, is it not the responsibility of the traveling press corps to fight the over-simplification of modern politics? Why is meta coverage—covering the political ramifications of the event instead of the actual event itself—the standard for the vast majority political coverage at this point? When did it become the responsibility of the media to explain how something will play with the public? Who exactly is served by this kind of journalism? How often does the public still get to interact with politics and make its own decisions? And when it does, how come no one notices?


 

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