Sunday, December 02, 2007

Make up your mind. No, don't.

Just another day in the Wal-Marketplace of Ideas: Shoppers show up with their democratic market baskets, and vendors hawk their democratic wares, and good ideas always beat bad ideas. Right? I mean, Milton himself said that truth will always kick falsehood's butt, and Milton wasn't the sort of guy to make up allegorical tales about good and bad, was he?
Let's go to the Big Book on these heds. A power play (outside the sports world, which claims the first two definitions) involves "the use or threatened use of power to accomplish one's goals." And reform is "the amendment, or altering for the better, of some faulty state of things, esp. of a corrupt or oppressive political institution or practice." Beer here! Get your ice-cold transitive preferences here!
So who's hawking rival views of Hugo Chavez and his proposals for Venezuela's constitution in the heds here: Global North and Global South? Left-wing daily and right-wing daily? CNN and Fox? No, it's the Sunday ("power play") and Saturday ("reforms") front pages of the Miami Herald. And the point isn't really that the Herald needs to settle on one or the other. The point is that "objectivity" doesn't require giving equal weight to rival opinions. It requires openness about methods and evidence, and part of that means tying opinions to the people to hawk them, not adopting the opinions as your own on even- and odd-numbered days.
Pick a word you can use every day without stacking the deck. Enforce it. Even when (or especially when) people complain that you're hindering their creativity or stifling their voice.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No mocking of Mr. Milton, please.

John McIntyre

12:27 AM, December 03, 2007  
Blogger fev said...

That doesn't relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I'm waiting for reports from some of you... Listen, I'm not joking. This is my job!

2:47 PM, December 04, 2007  

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