May 21, 2019

The Cure for Bad Opinions

“There’s a good reason on-air conversations have stricter boundaries than off-air conversations. People with major platforms— be they television shows, podcasts, or large readerships— have some responsibility not to infect the public discourse by promoting harmful ideas, intentionally or otherwise. Public discussions, then, are necessarily more cautious and less candid than those we share at the dinner table, bar, or barbecue.

That’s okay. But people still need to be able to talk. And they need to be able to be wrong without being canceled.

The surging popularity of podcasts is more than a matter of convenience. Monitored obsessively by media reporters and speech police, most conversations on TV and in print have become stilted and uninteresting. A slip-up that would be ironed out calmly in debate with friends can be career-threatening. So can perfectly reasonable opinions when clipped, disseminated, and misrepresented on social media. Podcast culture, re-popularized in recent years by hosts immune to the pressures of the speech police (think Joe Rogan), is much more open, filling a market demand for candid, thoughtful, and generally respectful discussion about controversial topics.”

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The biggest topic in British political circles on Monday wasn’t the country’s impending departure from the European Union. It was milkshakes..."

"I often disagree with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., but I've been disturbed by the idea that he should be run out of the Republican Party just because he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses."

"The Icelandic band Hatari, whose members are quite vocal in their animosity towards Israel, held up Palestinian flags... Madonna, likewise, had two of her performers wear Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes."

"To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, I turn to movie critic Roger Ebert's old review of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Trust me on this one.)"

"The money is already here—and has been for years. In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement."

"Parents concerned about YouTube debate whether to let their children have their own channels; some forbid it, others send them to summer camp..."

"‘I Had Completely Lost the Knack for Staying Alive..." Warmer weather brings daffodils, rhubarb at the farmer’s market — and, for some, despair."

"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"

"I’m terrified of parenting in the anti-vaxxer age: Anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t just harmful to children. It threatens to erode our entire sense of community."

"...doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers grow..."

"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."

"If trends continue, in 20 years the majority of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. The United States will see a continuing decline in overall numbers, with a growing observant Jewish population..."