One a great giver, the other a cable windbag....
Check out this side-by-side of the respective resumes of Dr. Ben Carson versus some cable-TV idiot who slimed him. The Wiki entry on Carson adds more great stuff. It has details of Carson's neurosurgery wizardry and notes the scholarship fund that he & his wife started. Omitted by Wiki is that the fund started by the Carsons has given out awards to some 5,000 recipients.
The Carson episode illustrates the downsides of 24/7 media. First, there is such a huge need for content that quality inevitably suffers. Second, in order to rise above the clutter of thousands of voices, the most extreme views tend to be favored. Viewer intensity--for or against--is notoriously a better driver of audience size than is less emotionally compelling content. Third, celebrities tend to dominate new media. Even those that are talented as singers, actors, comedians, athletes and the like are neither by virtue of same necessarily role models, nor useful commentators on serious issues.
Stupid, vicious rants of celebs like Jim Carrey's recent trashy video on gun control, or the antic diplomacy of ex-jock Dennis Rodman in North Korea may not sway many minds. But they add to the clutter for all of us, and effectively displace more serious people. Thus, Rodman's comments got more play than did former president Jimmy Carter's praise for Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chavez as being a friend of Venezuela's poor.
Quite apart from the fact that Chavez very nearly destroyed his country's economy, Carter's comments could conceivably affect the April 14 election. That contest will decide whether a Chavez lackey or Chavez's most recent opponent becomes Venezuela's next president. Venezuela provides nearly 6 percent of US oil, ranking fourth among US suppliers. Who governs the country is no small matter for Americans. Yet the news talk for days was about Rodman's trip, not Carter's possibly influencing a major foreign election.
Consider: Jim Carrey has over ten million Twitter followers. Ben Carson has nearly 56,000 Twitter followers. Carrey's total is 183 times that for Carson. If this be a sign of the times, it is not a reassuring one.
Bottom Line. We are drowning in a sea of celebrity twaddle, distracting us from the grave dangers--nuclear proliferation by the world's worst regimes, cyberwar, the debt bomb, shaky megabanks, a federal budget out of control--that should far more fully occupy our energies.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics