Richard Dreyfuss, Actor and Activist, spoke on “Media and Civic Discourse”
Dreyfus efectively criticised the MSM (mainstream media) for reacting too quickly to events without any thought or substance. “We transmit chapter headings but no chapter. We do not rewards. Broadcast gives only visual no text. There is no details. Our relationship with the Islamic world, our ability to be self righteous are all transmitted by image. We cannot overlook the older problems. If we speak for western civ then we must speak for dissent and debate. But we don’t honour it or allow it. We must have civility in the political debate. We have replaced it with melodrama. If you interrupt or are patronsing you can’t hear what they they say. No matter how sophisticated the technology, if you insist on one view and not allow others then the technology simply allows that mocking faster and more thoroughly.”
Technology can lead us to fatal conclusions without the time to change our minds.
“We no longer offer the differences between republican democracy or Islamic democracy.”
“It’s sold through a technology that does not allow for error.”
He said it was possible to kill black people on sight in the US South for 100 years, prior to civil rights movement.
Image how wrong we can be when we don’t have that time and our political classes are not educated to this scrutiny.
“Now there is a real clock on what damage can be done. No matter how angry you may get, you couldn’t do the damage that you can now, then.”
“In a minute. Now we can create hysteria in a minute.”
“How do you get people to read the good blogging and not the sensational, hysterical blogging.”
He’s talking about journalists reporting the most extreme points of view: “How do you reward journalists for providing the detail and the context?”
How do you create a generation of kids who like the process of learning.
This generation says – we never want to say I don’t know and I’ve changed my mind.
“We are the flap doodles of this culture and we are right now not taking into consideration the power of the tools we are working with.” (Reference to Swift).