The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen. Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire, and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected, dangerous flaming ant epidemic. If we amplify everything, we hear nothing.
There are terrorists and racists and stalinists and theocrats, but those titles must earned; you must have the resume. Not being able to be able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Party-ers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more. The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker, and perhaps eczema.
Afgelopen zaterdag hielden Jon Stewart en Stephen Colbert een manifestatie waarin ze opriepen tot het tonen van gezond verstand. Ook in Nederland zou zoiets niet misstaan.