Monday, April 17, 2006
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The ins and outs of media whoring
Jennifer Jacobson has an excellent story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the travails faced by academics who make regular media appearances. It's the perfect mix of serious and amusing.
The amusing stuff:
During the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the late 1990s, Cass R. Sunstein, a law professor at the University of Chicago, appeared on television regularly to argue that impeaching President Bill Clinton was wrong.Ravitch's last quote raises an interesting question -- as Americans get more and more of their news off the Internet, will more public intellectuals start up blogs? [Duh--ed.]
On the serious side, it turns out that junior faculty should be wary of doing too much television. Who knew?posted by Dan on 04.17.06 at 08:24 AM
Shouldn't that be Zimbabwean Ridgeback?posted by: Mitchell Young on 04.17.06 at 08:24 AM [permalink]
+10 points to Mitchell Young for throwing in a little African history trivia. :-)
I am not particularly keen on public intellectuals going on the main stream media. My issue is not so much with their reputation (in fact I applaud the effort to spread their information) but rather with the format. Trying to present complex arguments in fifteen second sound bites in a debate against a B list Hollywood actor on CNN’s Crossfire is not helpful to anyone. I cannot count how many times guests have presented blatantly wrong “facts” to support their argument.
Blogs on the other hand allow intellectual to control the format. She/he can write as much or as little as needed to present an argument. This argument can be revised, facts checked, responded to, and even cited by other blogs.posted by: Chris Albon on 04.17.06 at 08:24 AM [permalink]
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