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Friday, May 28, 2004

The Forty Years War

Arnold Kling on The Forty Years War:

One could make a case that the clashes taking place in Iraq today have little bearing on that country's ultimate future. In the long run, whether Iraq is able to modernize or not, whether ethnic diversity divides the country or not, and whether democratic institutions take root or the country reverts to strongman rule all depend primarily on the internal dynamics of its people and culture. Meanwhile, here in the United States, the forty-years war between the media and conservative Republicans is reaching a climax.
I believe that if the liberal media wants to win the battle for the hearts and minds of America, the first step will be to admit, "We are the liberal media." That is, they should drop the pretense of Lippman-esque detached objectivity and instead acknowledge that they have a partisan position. From that perspective, they will realize that in order to shape others' opinions one has to understand and appreciate the opposing point of view, rather than assume a posture of know-it-all arrogance.