Archive for October, 2021

Lesson 607 A Clear And Present Danger

When the “winds of autocracy” are blowing there is a “clear and present danger” for all democracies…

Here is how to recognize these “winds”: (1) Political parties inside government are becoming hopelessly polarized; (2) And one of those parties is clearly focused on gaining and holding control… showing comfort with autocratic ideas; (3) That same party is also taking action to control access to voting; (4) At the same time, it is having success at gaining influence over the courts.

Autocracy “winds” require bold responses: (1) Saving democracy must become the priority; (2) The words and deeds of the leader at the top must demonstrate this priority… personally “showing up” on the front lines; (3) Staff alone cannot handle issues of this magnitude; (4) Other priorities must be set aside when democracy is at stake; (5) Messaging overall must change; (6) The leader at the top must personally confront the control-obsessed party with the specific consequences of what they are doing; (7) All champions of democracy must weigh-in now… and do their part.

But danger might continue: Someone politically experienced, with an understanding of American history, and a healthy ego, could build on this moment… and succeed later.

For example, was January 6th in the U.S. just a dress rehearsal for others who might come later?

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Lesson 606 Digital Politics

Television and social media produced dramatic changes…

Everything changed… from families to individuals, to politics.

It quickly became a world of confusion, and “chronic uncertainty.”

Experts lost their credibility, truth and facts became almost impossible to find.

What seemed “good for me” gradually became the primary reason to support a political candidate.

Social media, potentially a tool for national unity, became a political weapon and divided the country.

This is how the dynamics of the Internet and “digital politics” enabled many democracies around the world to became dictatorships . Democracies are in peril everywhere… including the U.S.

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Lesson 605 What’s Changing TV News?

These days, making news more entertaining sells. This is especially true for TV news.

The camera “likes” drama better than details.

Experience has taught that faster and more dramatic talk increases audience interest and numbers.

This means that eventually news stories get shorter… making room for more fast-paced stories.

Viewers must now go to major newspapers and other media for “context” and depth.

Ultimately, anchors are selected, groomed, and often changed, based on popularity.

Other personalities also appear to help boost ratings. Many from entertainment and sports.

What once was defined as “human interest,” now evolves into end-of-program “happy talk.”

CBS Mornings move to Times Square, and the anchor’s delivery-style on NBC Nightly News are excellent places to observe how commercial temptations are changing TV news.

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