The cretin’s lantern

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-10-26-55Television promised much but disappointed greatly, emerging as an inherently vacuous, trivialising medium. Dalrymple goes further and describes it as

a terrible social evil.

There are few more frustrating experiences, he says,

than trying to discuss a serious subject on television. Discussion programmes are soundbite programmes, from which that person emerges triumphant who says something striking in the very few seconds allocated to him. The content of what he says is unimportant: it is the form and feeling-tone that count.

There are, he notes,

many erroneous statements whose erroneousness cannot be exposed in a single sentence, however brilliantly compressed. Concision is a virtue unless it come at the expense of truth, whereupon it be not only a vice, but a public danger.

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