Earnest critiques of the facts and opinions that [talk-radio host John] Ziegler put into the world as if he were a journalist made no sense. “Maybe it’s better to say that he is part of a peculiar, modern, and very popular type of news industry, one that manages to enjoy the authority and influence of journalism without the stodgy constraints of fairness, objectivity, and responsibility that make trying to tell the truth such a drag for everyone involved,” [David Foster Wallace wrote in 2005].
Sound familiar to anyone? While talk radio caters to all tastes, the medium developed to serve an audience Pew described in 2004 as “a distinct group; it is mostly male, middle-aged, well-educated and conservative.” That cohort is now over 50, and its members spent decades listening to radio hosts stimulate by mixing facts and opinions in whatever proportion was necessary to keep listeners from turning the dial.
Alexis C. Madrigal on the new spectacle.
This is from an article describing Pew Research Center research that shows older Americans are more likely to confuse opinion statements for factual ones.
Keep in mind, incidentally, that the replacement of factual analysis with subjective feeling is one of the key preconditions for the rise of fascism…