Schoolyard bully politics

    “A confluence of factors has helped turn our election races into schoolyard tussles,” said Adam Radwanski in a Globe and Mail column. But he aimed his strongest criticism on the media, and especially online forms of media.

    “The anything-goes nature of online debate — on blogs and even on parties’ official websites — has spilled over into mainstream discourse much the way talk radio infected it south of the border. The media’s obsession with “war rooms” has left their occupants trying to outdo one another with gratuitous attacks. And the clutter of five parties competing in a 24-hour news cycle has left them making increasingly shrill noises in the hope of being heard.”

    I find myself agreeing with him — and thinking it’s a good argument for more, and more professional, journalism. But then, such criticism is like shooting ducks at an arcade.

    The Globe and Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson also aimed his guns at online media, in a Q&A session online. (Hat tip to Bill Doskoch) Simpson said of the Internet’s “nigh inexhaustible” demand for material, alongside the decent work “drivel abounds, bloggers proliferate, instant “analyses” are offered, and the time for reflection is reduced literally to zero.”