Ideology of news: The drowning

December 7, 2009

Newspapers are like a dinosaur version of the lemming – less cute, less nimble, yet just as driven to leap over the cliff and into the watery deep.  The reason, as I recently explained, is that news isn’t a business, it’s an ideology, and newspapers would rather tell us how to live than sell marketable information.

If there was any doubt (and I harbored none), consider this.  Led by the Guardian, 56 newspapers across the world are to publish identical editorials urging the climate summiteers at Copenhagen to force us to “change our lifestyles” and deliver a “low-carbon society.” The Brunei Times, El Universal, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Le Monde, Dagbladet, the Miami Herald, singing from the same hymnbook.  Speaking not to their minute and shrinking audiences, but to the people they have always envied and craved access to:  the powerful.

Climategate?  All it did was “muddy the waters” into which the editoralist-diplodocuses  are about to drown.  This newsifesto was probably cobbled together before that scandal broke, in any case, and it’s not like newspapers can be expected to wrap their walnut-sized brains around new evidence.

“The science is complex,” they roar, leaping into the chasm, “but the facts are clear.”

In a million years, their petrified carcasses might be found by some unlucky paleontologist.  As for those of us who have shared the earth with these mighty lumbering giants, the kindest thing to do would be to avert our eyes from their fossilized opinions.