"I think media watchdogs are valuable, but in the sense that you can move the beast, I think there's very little that good-faith criticism can do."
Thank you both so much for this. I really appreciate how open you are about the limits of media criticism. It's so strange, because you see how rhetoric, tropes, and structures work on a very deep level. It's powerful knowledge even if it doesn't "enlighten the ignorant." It helps people not fall into traps (traps that can be really profitable, tbh) and begins to grapple with the larger problem of what one can actually accomplish in one's life.
I share Carlos' TED talk about Fox News, "balance," and letting the worst win the day by merely putting them on TV quite a bit. It's eminently practical knowledge that helps us explain some of the craziest things we're seeing in media. Creating a powerful, thoughtful video essay about Camus is on another level, but its a level DC insiders or Jeff Zuckert or even some of the writers and thinkers we rely on most for information can't always appreciate. It's about how one would even see a question, even have a moral realization, in the first place. The really strange thing is the fact that there isn't always a direct connection between seeing someone use bad faith rhetoric skillfully, understanding that people will use crises to bully others, and the larger concern about what it means to be human. It takes real mental effort to put it all together.
That last question--"what's this being human thing about?"--isn't ever really hiding, but no one wants to even try to answer it seriously. What makes Camus a mind is that he doesn't deny it, instead wanting a direct confrontation. What makes our media culture so, so bad is that it consistently throws that sort of question away in favor of flattering an audience and clickbait.