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Fixing the press is like draining the ocean

There's a circular ocean current called the north Pacific central that's the size of Africa, and all the floating plastic in the ocean eventually winds up there, conveyed there by the life-cycle of the seas. And since plastic isn't biodegradable, it never breaks down: It just goes round and round, endlessly, endlessly circulating.

The North Pacific Central is the world's largest landfill, except it's in the ocean.

There are times when I think our famously free press is like that oceanic landfill--except the pages of the press aren't choked with bits of petroleum-based product, but indestructible headlines and memes. This digital flotsam and jetsam is never brought into contact with organic reality, and so it never degrades or breaks down: It just circulates endlessly.

Take this headline--please--from today's AP feed:

Bush warns he'll veto runaway spending

Jeebus. Why does that "runaway spending" meme permitted to circulate still?

What about "walkaway spending"?

You know, the kind of spending that just "walks away," and nobody knows where it went or who took it? Like the $8.6 billion lost in Iraq?


Words fail me when I consider that headline. It's not even wrong! The Republicans lost $8.6 billion dollars, after they flew pallets of cash into Iraq!

And yet, the idea that Republicans are against "runaway spending" somehow persists, indestructible, circling the drain of what used to be our free press.

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