"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Inevitable Distortions of the Press

G. K. Chesterton noted that the press inevitably present a distorted picture of things because commercial considerations, and simple human curiosity, cause them to write about murders and corruption rather than happy homes and honesty. The latter are not news, after all, because they are so ordinary. But the fact that they are both ordinary and not news means that the news inherently creates a deceptive picture of society.

This has become something of a truism since Chesterton first said it, but it is always important to bear this fact in mind when evaluating the news of the day. For example, the recent talk about sports scandals, such as the NBA players-fans fight in Detroit and the baseball steroid revelations, should not be allowed to distort our evaluation of the moral condition of today's professional athletes. Here, too, though there are many, many problems, there is much good. Consider, for example, this article from the Chicago suburban newspaper the Daily Southtown.

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