Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Peter Sagal

Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me has an interesting post at his blog. In it, he discusses the way media can shape opinion.

"I think that as consumers of media, these days, we’re all trying to stand firm in face of an onslaught of information, a flood. It’s a Niagra Falls of data, and we’re trying to go up it, in a barrel. I think that in this almost impossible task your only protection – your umbrella, as it were – is an original thought. They’re hard to come by, these days… but I think it’s possible. You have to rely on your own insight, and you have to put yourself through an almost Cartesian rigor of doubt. You have to ask yourself the question that my friend Jess asked me: What information do you have that makes you believe that to be the truth? Is it something you know, or is it something you were told? And if you were told it, what is the motive of the person who told you? Is he trying to fool you? Or, as is far more likely, is he trying to please you? That’s much more dangerous, and often more successful. Nobody wants to be fooled, and we’re on our guard against it. Everybody wants to be pleased."

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