Quotation of the Week: David Gergen

Regardless of whether you like what he is doing, Roger Ailes is one of the most creative talents of his generation. He has built a media empire that is capable of driving the conversation, and, at times, the political process.  –DAVID GERGEN, the astute political analyst on CNN, on the chief of Fox News. As I remember, Obama said that Fox impacted his campaign 3 or 4 percentage points.  There are occasions when the media is more political than journalistic.  In Fox’s instance, my perspective is that they cross the line too much.  Although CNN is less biased, it’s more interested in consumer ratings than reporting.   The really frustrating fact is that most listeners can’t assess the quality of media input, doesn’t know the difference between fact and opinion, and doesn’t really care.   The research on business people is no more encouraging when it comes to decision making.  Still more frustrating, the research indicates that most political decisions made by consumers are driven largely by emotions.  The research suggests that most of us are a member of tribe.  We have a given perspective and look for opinion (and occasionally fact) to support that perspective.   I’ve found that looking at facts, especially when they’re about politics, can be personally painful.  On occasion, the facts on the ground keep me from voting with my own tribe. Still as Churchill commented, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.  And I certainly have no better suggestions.  I’m disappointed that Gergen, a journalist for whom I have a great deal of admiration, had no serious qualifiers attached to his statement about Ailes.
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