I’m not a huge William Powers fan, but this column — about the reaction to the reaction to that Pat Oliphant cartoon of the sadistic nun and little Mel Gibson — gets it exactly right:

Do you ever wonder why political cartoons have lost the magnetism and drawing power they once had, why they’re no longer part of the political conversation? There aren’t many Pat Oliphants left in America, you see, and the ones we have are so troublesome, so… costly.

And really, why offend people when you can make them happy? Why shock when you can calm and soothe? Why divide when you can unite? If the newspaper industry had a theme song, it would be that old Coke jingle: I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. More and more, it’s doing just that.

Posted at 9:58 am in Uncategorized |

One response to “Yep.”

  1. alex said on March 12, 2004 at 12:44 pm

    Maybe it isn’t that media have a political bias one way or the other after all. Rather, they’re increasingly in the habit of capitulating to whiners. And whiners are almost always of the “social conservative” stripe.

    I mean, look at the letters page of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel on any given day. You’ll typically see numerous impassioned arguments for creationism. When was the last time you saw anyone writing to defend evolution?

    Alas, the letters page is not the steam valve it’s meant to be. Judging by the editorial content throughout, probably every reporter and columnist is working under a mandate to second-guess the whiners. Am I wrong?

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