The philosophical question confronting us today, class, is this: Is the stupidity of the media compulsory? Now, before you answer a resounding and optimistic “No!” let us consider, like good philosophers, all the reasons why the answer might be yes. For if you assume, as the media do, that the preponderance of those who read or watch the works of America’s journalists are stupid, trivial-minded, tasteless, and shamelessly addicted to gossip, what reason could possibly persuade you not to cater to such people? It would, of course, be possible, to produce a journalistic oeuvre that was over the heads of the majority, but the majority would then simply cease to attend. As it would not be practicable to pass a law requiring people to watch the nightly news, we must make the nightly news as attractive as possible to those whose ability to understand serious political and international matters is—to say the...

 
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