Friday, March 11, 2011

Tomorrow's Show

Prof. Ed Rauchut of Bellevue University will talk about the next High School Academy put on by the Center for American Vision and Values. The topic: Popular Culture & Media. The expert panel for the event features a current KFAB host (Tom Becka), a former KFAB host (Jim Fagin, who now works for U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson), and a frequent KFAB guest (Joe Jordan, Nebraska Watchdog).

All of the following are on Prof. Rauchut's radar screen:

Consumerism and Popular Culture and their negative effects on our culture (liberals and conservatives may find common ground here).

TV, movies, the Internet and the coarsening of our culture — the new moral low is the horrible new TV show Skins (he’ll have to educate me on this one).

The effects of entertainment on the news media — Infotainment.

Bias in the news media.

The transformation of print media — especially the press — by consumerism and the popular culture.

Talk Radio (uh oh).

The general dumbing down of our culture, as well as our politics and public policy.

Here's a statement from Prof. Rauchut in a flyer promoting the seminar:

The free market brings us many good things. But, as many on both the left and right of the political spectrum would probably agree, it also brings us many things that cause concern.

We live in a consumer society in which it is easy to confuse goods with the good. High and low culture are things of the past. Today, we are dominated by a consumer-driven Popular Culture in which nearly everything is evaluated by its entertainment value.

Traditional values, which in the past were reinforced by the dominant culture, are today under constant assault by an adversarial Popular Culture. Language and images which in the past were considered beyond the pale in the media, are today accepted as the norm — until they are pushed to even greater extremes in a relentless quest for ratings. The effect, at the very least, is a general coarsening of the culture.

Some argue that news media has not been immune to these influences, morphing from a reliable source of information to one of infotainment, driven by a 24/7 news cycle and the disruptive influence of the Internet.

Some would like to put the genie back into the bottle. Some think it will never happen, or that it shouldn’t. Some argue that nothing much has really changed anyway — from the time that Elvis shook his hips on the Ed Sullivan to Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction.

Still others, like me, would argue that we are facing a serious culture and moral sea change of degree and kind — something that we, as a nation, have never witnessed before — something that may very well erode the values that have made our nation great and free and our people strong and vigilant.

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