Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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The Sanders-Warren ‘feud’ and Ukraine revelations are nowhere near equal in importance

Margaret Sullivan writes:

A sense of proportion — what’s significant and what’s trivial — seems strangely missing.

What truly deserves our all-out attention and outrage? What’s the small stuff?

Numbed by the barrage of news, dazzled by distraction, many citizens don’t seem to know anymore.

And news sources, particularly TV and social media, show little ability or desire to help. (As Pew Research in late 2018 revealed, TV is still the main way that all Americans get their news; and younger people increasingly rely on social media; newspapers are fading by the day as a news source.)

Part of the problem is that the Ukraine story is relatively complicated. The cast of characters is hard to keep track of.

Lev Parnas? Marie Yovanovitch? And now (a new name to emerge this week), Robert Hyde, who may have been illegally tracking the American ambassador?

It’s unlikely that most Americans would have a clue who they are.

If you doubt that, you ought to know that, in a “Jeopardy!” episode aired a few days ago, three contestants were shown a photo and given a description of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).

A librarian, a tutor and an English professor, they all looked baffled as they failed to come up with his name.

“Even three really smart people are not paying close enough attention to the impeachment circus to recognize the face of one of its ringleaders,” was how writer Karen Townsend put it on the website Hotair.

The widespread lack of news literacy and basic civics is something that Trump depends upon. (“I love the poorly educated,” he crowed in early 2016 after winning the Nevada primary.) Or as Ohio-based columnist Connie Schultz wrote recently: “Nothing scares Trump more than informed voters.” [Continue reading…]

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