Daily Archives: July 8, 2010

Quote of the Day: “The US no longer has an adversarial press”


Four minutes and eighteen seconds of nonsensical vocables from Sarah Palin.  On her relevant experience in foreign affairs: “Our next door neighbors are foreign countries are in the state I’m executive of [sic] . . .  Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of America.  Where do they go?”

“[W]e have to realize that the US no longer has a truly adversarial press. It has a commercial press that is entirely driven by fear of losing readers and/or viewers. Remember that the MSM allowed Palin – then a total unknown – to go an entire campaign without an open press conference. She knows they’re patsies. She’s much less afraid of them than they are of her. And rightly so.”  Andrew Sullivan


Frye in “The Renaissance of Books” (1973) comparing the commercial interests of the “free” press with the dictatorial control of Orwell’s telescreen in 1984:

In the democracies, of course, radio and television reflect the economic anxieties of selling and making profits through consumer goods rather than the political anxieties of censorship and thought control, but the cultural consequences have many parallels.  Newspapers also become one-way streets in proportion to their preoccupation with headlines and deadlines: however, the competition of television is now forcing them to becomes something more like journals of opinion.  (CW 11, 154)

Roger Ailes, president of Fox News in January: “I’m not in politics.  I’m in ratings.  We’re winning.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley


On this date Percy Bysshe Shelley died (1792-1822).

Frye in conversation with David Cayley:

Literature doesn’t argue.  That’s the principle of Shelley’s Defence of Poetry — that literature doesn’t argue.  As Yeats says, “You can refute Hegel but not the Song of Sixpence.”  The whole argumentative side is something that critics, without examining the matter, think must be true of criticism but not of literature.  But to me criticism is really the expression of the awareness of language.  And what I try to do in my writing is express awareness of language, particularly of literary language and what it’s trying to do.  (CW 24, 953-4)

Shelley’s “A Defense of Poetry” here.