Virtuous Reality: How America Surrendered Discussion of Moral Values to Opportunists, Nitwits, and Blockheads Like William Bennett

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Random House, 1997 - Social Science - 212 pages
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This book is for nervous parents, neo-Luddites, kids, journalists, rappers, intellectuals, digital wanna-bes, Webheads, MTV users and banners, Beavis & Butt-head fans, survivors of the 1996 presidential election and buyers of William Bennett's moral fables. Here's some of what it's about: . Public discussions of culture and new media are hysterical, confusing and irrational. We have to start over. We blame our ascending, technologically distributed culture - music, TV shows, movies, computers - for crime, civic apathy and other social woes, while their complex causes and expensive solutions are ignored. Journalism has lost its moral moorings. Its new corporate owners have taken it far from its original purpose, as practiced by Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, and transformed it into a timid, stuffy, "objective" and increasingly destructive entity. We need to understand the good things the information revolution is bringing and not just wring our hands over the bad. Consider the way interactivity is democratizing the spread of information. How the Internet is transforming science and research. How individuals can now carry on their own dialogues, instead of submitting to the suffocating dictates of three networks and a few newspapers. How citizens have the machinery to join in the discussions of political life. Children need more, not less, access to technology, culture and information. We have been led into a false choice - the old culture versus the new - by shallow politicians and manipulable journalists. Sensible people can pick what they want and need from both cultures, each offering vast amounts of both excellence and garbage.

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The nineties were a vintage decade for moral panics centered on the media. It was, after all, the era when the Vice-President of the United States (Dan Quayle) denounced a fictional character (Murphy ... Read full review

Virtuous reality: how America surrendered discussion of moral values to opportunists, nitwits, and blockheads like William Bennett

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In many ways, Katz has the perfect credentials to write this book. He has been a reporter and editor for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, a television producer, and a mystery novelist. Now he ... Read full review

Contents

xiii
King of the Mediaphobes I 21
s Lets Talk Calmly about Talking Dirty 71
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Jon Katz is a media critic and novelist. He is Contributing Editor of Wired Magazine and has written for GQ, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, New York and other magazines. He is a two-time finalist for the National Magazine Award. He was listed as one of the country's most influential media critics in a survey conducted by the Gannett Center's Freedom Forum Foundation in 1995.

He has published five novels. He was formerly Executive Producer of the CBS Morning News and a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Dallas Times-Herald. He is the author of the "Media Rant" column on HotWired's The Netizen.

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