“It’s news to us.”
- Tag line for satirical news website The Daily Mash.
Perhaps it was always naïve to expect the Internet, the world’s largest vanity publisher, to provide high quality news and an objective analysis of current affairs. As the computer scientist Robert Wilensky once said,
“We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.”
Now the Internet seems to have morphed into a showroom for millennial journalists to flaunt their contempt for what remains of their paying customers. Janan Ganesh for the Financial Times last week was only the latest political commentator to lazily elide Brexit voters with supporters of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, as if 17.4 million Britons were culturally and politically identical to 63 million Trump-supporting Americans and however many million French people will vote for the Front National. Perhaps the right strategy is to take a leaf out of Rolf Dobelli’s book and avoid the news altogether.
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