Monday, April 13, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Circular running torpedo"

On the margin it appears that England has a greater diversity of press voices that are less likely to universally suppress a story than the American press. It isn't that their prejudices are any better on average but that on some level the culture supports greater irreverence and more risk taking. Perhaps this is a benefit from the ghost of the old class system. The Prime Minister is just a Head of Government politician and not a Head of State. As perceived members of the working class rather than public intellectuals, as the more pretentious American press view themselves, the British reporters show little deference to each others allegiances or to the politicians.

James Hacker MP: I know exactly who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country. The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country. The Times is read by people who actually do run the country. The Daily Mirror is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by people who own the country. The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country. The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Prime Minister, what about people who read the Sun?

Bernard Wooley: Sun readers don't care who runs the country as long as she's got big tits.

Question Time is a great idea. Obama's scripted press sessions, where he actually refers to a list of reporters to call on and reads answers off a screen, are no way to hold a politician accountable. The Confederate Constitution actually had a provision for questioning Cabinet officers inserted in Article I, section 6.
But Congress may, by law, grant to the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments a seat upon the floor of either House, with the privilege of discussing any measures appertaining to his department.
If the Electoral College was working as intended no one would become President until they had spent many years establishing a track record of achievement and sound judgement under close observation and questioning by leading citizens.

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