We get the news we deserve

Matt Taibbi is more frightened by Bush’s budget than Britney’s shaved head:

“Here’s the thing about the system of news coverage we have today. If the Walton family, or Lee Raymond, or the heirs to the Mars fortune actually needed the news media to work better than it does now, believe me, it would work better. But they have no such need, because the system is working just fine for them as is. The people it’s failing are the rest of us, and most of the rest of us, apparently, would rather sniff Anna Nicole Smith’s corpse or watch Britney Spears hump a fire hydrant than find out what our tax dollars are actually paying for. Shit, when you think about it that way, why not steal from us? People that dumb don’t deserve to have money.”

This excellent column is a painful reminder of times I argued (with news directors) that we should give people the news they want, not the news they “need.” I was more of a ratings pimp than ratings whore, but I was wrong.