WILLIAM ARKIN: Well, you know, I’ve been associated with television for 30 years. I’ve been a journalist for about the same period of time, but it’s not my background. My background was in Army intelligence, and then, thereafter, I wrote books about the military. And I was called upon to be a journalist because there was a desire on the part of the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and NBC to have experts helping people to understand an incredibly complex issue—national security.
In those days, when I started, we used to have civilian experts on the air, people who weren’t former government officials, people who weren’t retired generals, people who might be university professors or activists who worked in nongovernmental organizations or experts who were associated with think tanks. Something happened post-9/11, something happened in this intervening years, in which those people virtually disappeared from the airwaves, and we don’t see as many anymore.
And, in fact, we increasingly see journalists who are the commentators on what’s going on. Now, that’s a tricky position, because journalists are supposed to be unbiased, but also, at the same time, they’re supposed to be explaining to the public what’s going on with inside information.
But the end result of it is that we become shallower and shallower in our coverage, particularly in an area like national security. We’ve just become so shallow that we’re not really able even to see the truth, which is that we’re at war right now in nine countries around the world where we’re bombing, and we hardly report any of it on a day-to-day basis.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction