Today's Columns: Do You Care Enough to Read This?

WSJ: Daniel Henninger ponders the declining influence of the "established media" -- which presumably includes the Journal -- and wonders whether "too many people now simply don't care about major media anymore."

WaPo: David Ignatius reports on the fate and fallout of secret American plans to manipulate Iraqi democracy.... Robert Novak explores the challenges facing France's top deregulator .... Tova Andrea Wang says that her work on a bipartisan Election Assistance Commission report was compromised by partisanship and its findings suppressed.... Kyle Teamey is concerned that "Party politics matters more than the results" in the war in Iraq.... Robert Novak says "the high caliber of possible selections" to replace Alberto Gonzales "means President Bush is not content with a placeholder sure to get Senate confirmation."

USA Today: Education Secretary Margaret Spellings defends No Child Left Behind in a question-and-answer session.

LAT: Benazir Bhutto says she knows that "Time, justice and the forces of history are on our side" in the fight for a moderate, democratic Pakistan.... Greg Critser sees Type 2 diabetes as an example of "evolution in our time," and calls for more education on its dangers.

NYT: Dana Thomas warns that counterfeit luxury goods finance "illicit activities" and "terrorist plots".... Roger Cohen is encouraged by the Bush administration's new interest in the Isreali-Palestinian conflict.

By Nick Baumann |  August 30, 2007; 8:39 AM ET
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Comments

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It is appropriate that the WSJ asks whether or not people care about the major media.

I am very select on which media outlet to trust. I feel that too many of them (whether print or visual media) include too much opinion and editorialism. I just want the facts presenting both sides of a story and then I would like to form my own opinion. I don't want to be told how to think.

Now that WSJ is changing ownership, unfortunately they will probably be joining the majority who taint the news with their owners' opinions.

Whatever happened to impartial journalism?

Posted by: Veronica | August 30, 2007 12:01 PM

It is not an issue of caring, it is an issue of being immune. It is hard to read the doom and gloom everyday and not become disinterested. The media is bombarding us with information, that for the most part we as individuals feel powerless to impact. We as individuals are more concerned with dealing with the myriad of problems we face each day. A closet senator, corruption in government, lame promises and international incidents are a daily part of the information we receive and it is gotten to the point where our tolerance level for the unacceptable and/or shocking is very high. We are a product of our times and have become immune to human suffering.

Posted by: David | August 30, 2007 12:06 PM

Don't residents of the USA care that some politicians believe they have been granted the right to discard the rights and privileges guaranteed to these residents by the Constitution of the USA?

Shouldn't that be the central question at this time??? And shouldn't a subsidiary question be: if you do believe that the central question is the way that politicians have discarded the Writ of Habeas Corpus then what are you going to do about it in 2008?

Posted by: Allan Dane | August 30, 2007 01:56 PM

It is frigthening that you believe the WSJ is impartial.
Sally

Posted by: Veronica | August 30, 2007 03:00 PM

Give me a printed Newspaper. A document that I can carry with me. That I can use to shove it down a person's throat. To tell that person. SEE! this is where I read it.I wouldn't give you a plug nickle for a person who does not read a daily Newspaper.
Tampa Tribune Subscriber, and proud of it!

Posted by: Joseph M. Abad | August 30, 2007 03:19 PM

Perhaps Mr. Henninger should ponder how the American Public is tired of being fed bull manure and being kept in the dark. Nobody I know or talk to trusts the media anymore. Of course their influence is declining. Until they become unbiased and truthful we will continue to get our news from the sources we trust.

Posted by: Molly | August 30, 2007 03:28 PM

Veronica - think about again about the (pre-Murdoch) WSJ. Its EDITORIAL POLICY is certainly not "unbiased." It is unabashedly right-wing. But, unlike, well, Fox News, to cite the most obvious example, its news is generally regarded as unbiased and carefully researched. It was possible for a reader to trust the facts on the front page even while disagreeing vehemently with the opinions on the editorial page. Murdoch, on the other hand, is frequently observed slanting stories presented as fact to support an editorial position, or reporting some events but not others selectively for the same reason. Other, more mainstream news sources like WAPO are accused of doing the same thing, especially in the 911 aftermath and runup to the Iraq invasion. Why were the objections to the justifications for invasion reported so quietly? Why was it so relatively hard to find stories about the war protests? Did they do this because they felt that a public on the Bush bandwagon didn't want to read about this stuff? Whatever the reason, during that time I began reading a number of overseas papers in addition to several US pubs. Ultimately, we the people must become more demanding consumers of information if we are to preserve our democracy.

Posted by: Marcia | August 30, 2007 03:42 PM

I am a devoted fan of the major print media. Either online or physically I go through four papers a day routinely and once or twice a week three others. The Economist is the essential weekly reading. In addition I use Google alerts for my favorite topics of the moment. The point I am making is that we citizens must support the media and take a mature (cynical?) approach to what is presented to us. Should anyone be surprised at the NY Times selection of social issues to write about? Who cares if the WSJ is conservative. As long as the Washington Post does a good job on the Capital scene what do I care about their politics. I submit that you trust at your peril.

Posted by: Robertthegood | August 30, 2007 03:56 PM

BB' assessment of the situation brewing in Pakistan is very realistic.Haunted by the current political instability, Pakistan can't play its vital role in the fight against Extremism at home and abroad. No military can successfully fight such a menace. The support of the peole, lacking in the instant case, remains crucial. This can only be assured by the revival of democracy under the 73-Constitution.
BB' way-out appears to be most pragmatic as she is not bargaining on the vital articles of the law of the land which would ensure the return of genuine Democracy. She must keep it up to rid Pakistan of Military dictatorship once and for all!

Posted by: booglede | August 31, 2007 03:24 AM

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