Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Echo chamber (echo chamber, echo chamber...)

Looking at the responses on various websites to Jon Stewart's appearance on Fox News over the weekend (see yesterday's post), it did seem like the general reaction could be classified thusly: Those who like him thought he did well, and those who clearly don't like him (which is to say, those who dislike what they perceive him to represent) thought he came across as condescending.

There is no listening. There is only hearing what one was inclined to hear.

C'est la vie.


Of course, all we have to use as a basis for such a conclusion about the general population is the relatively small sampling of those who were inclined to leave a comment on a site reporting about the story.

Much like voting, it's not requisite that one chime in (and worse than voting, one will be exposed to some risible idiocy and vulgar lack of decorum by choosing to engage), but if one's views are not being represented in the reactions that are offered, one is not necessarily served by staying out of it.

But if one really doesn't give a shit what others think, then one probably has reached a satisfactory position in one's mind. Such is an option a free society provides.


Of course, the question of the source of this polarization is: Does the mixture of those who at least on the surface are ideologically different bring with it the likelihood of appreciating other points of view or does is merely infuriate those who would otherwise not be exposed to these other points of view that merely infuriates them?


  1. I watched the unedited video (the link in your previous post) and it was the fist time I heard Jon Stewart explain where he was coming from. I agree with him about the "lamestream" media.

    I don't have cable TV but the few times I've caught his show or excerpts from it I did enjoy the way he attacked hypocrisy, playing back one quote from a pol and then showing a complete contradiction from the same pol with another quote made later.

    The problem is that journalism tries to cover both sides of the story but not all stories have just two sides (liberal and conservative, for example). There are shades of gray and individual differences as Jon points out to Chris Wallace.

    BTW, Chris Wallace is insane. Scientific fact.

  2. I admire Jon for going on Fox. Most people of his stripe would be too afraid of having to defend their ideas in front of people who may disagree with them. Good for Jon.


So, what do you think?