Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Is the New York Times a good alternative source juxstaposed against the conservative sources I sometimes cite? Actually, since junior took over from senior (1995 I think) it sometimes borders on the crazy fringe of the left but dressed up in a tone of respectability. There was a time when you could read the NYT and be reasonably well informed, that is no longer true. After reading the old gray lady almost everyday since I was 12 years old I nolonger do. I only give the dead tree version a thorough going over on weekends. During the week limited articles from the online edition is all that I spend time on. Aside from accuracy of reporting issues on both the left and the right in the media there is rarely any decent historical perspective. Without a context, reading about the events of the day does very little to advance anyone's understanding of the world, which is what I am pursuing. Besides news events and opinions are oh so perishable, there is no intellectual sustenance. At any point in time I have a stack of anywhere between 5 and 25 books next to my bed. Ploughing through the material is an ongoing process and the stack is frequently replenished depending on what hole in my knowledge I am trying to plug. In contrast to an author like Michael Moore, who's views are based upon false assumptions and sloppy research I would rather spend my limited time reading William Greider (Who Will Tell the People; Secrets of the Temple..). As a liberal, his views are very different from mine and I usually disagree with his conclusions. He writes well so the narrative of his books is enjoyable to follow. His research is terrific, the footnotes and bibliography are a treasure trove of great sources for additional learning. He provides intellectual sustenance!