How to deal with the decay of modern journalism and the death of objective media.

April 16, 2013 | Media Criticism | Permalink

anchor deskI’m a big fan of Howard Kurtz and his show on CNN, Reliable Sources.  I also like Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, and their show on NPR, On the Media.

Why is that?  Because I value objective criticism of the news media and – to a larger extent – the media in general.  As an amateur historian and a professional in the field of shaping opinion (i.e. marketing/PR flack), I see a correlation between the general success of a social order and the vitality of the media in which it operates.  Effective communication is essential to the proper functioning of any society.

And as those chains of communication break down, so do the relationships that make the social order function … orderly.

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Here’s one idea on healthcare reform that deserves a place at the table. Literally.

April 15, 2013 | Healthcare, Politics | Permalink

ObesityThe political wars over healthcare reform waged by politicians and special interests seem to have died down for a while – or if they haven’t died down, they’ve at least fallen beyond the horizon and, thus, have left the collective mind of an attention-deficient American public.  So as long as no one is looking, let’s have a quiet little discussion about an idea I had that could have a tremendous impact on the healthcare economy in this country and, as far as I can tell, have minimal political fallout.

The idea is pretty simple: let’s include the calorie count of every food and menu item right next to its price.

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On racism, race-baiting and our own perverse sense of denial.

April 12, 2013 | Politics | Permalink

Multi Ethnic AmericaSo much of the problem with our search for productive and civil political discourse  seems to lie in the stigma attached to the word “racist.”  The fact is that a lot of people in this country are uncomfortable with race as an issue and that’s because (whether they want to admit it or not) so much of their view of the world point-of-view comes from their perspective as a “white” or a “black” or as someone of some other ethnic background.

Looked at objectively, being “racist” and making “discriminating” decisions based on that point of view is part of human nature. As humans evolved, we learned to put more trust in people that looked like us and shared common social values.

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