The President’s Trick Or Tweet – too much information?

May 11, 2010 04:57

Obama says access to too much information is not good for you. Maybe its just not good for him and his agenda. We never thought of free speech as a problem before, but apparently the president does.

IBD Editorials

Free Speech: President Obama, while addressing college graduates, condemns our access to new media as a subversion of democracy. Is the iPad a threat to democracy or exactly what Thomas Jefferson had in mind?

At Hampton University in Virginia on Sunday, the president lamented that in an age of text messaging, the Internet and the iPad, information and its unfettered exchange had become a diversion that was putting a strain on democracy. We are not making this up.

The “24/7 media environment,” he told the students, “bombards us with all kinds of comments and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter.” Does that apply to presidential speeches as well? We never thought of free speech as a problem before, but apparently the president does.

“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a means of emancipation,” Obama said. “All of this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy.”

Perhaps it’s easier these days to spread disinformation, but it’s also easier to correct it. If the president doesn’t know how to use these devices, how does he explain the June 26, 2008, issue of Rolling Stone noting that Bob Dylan, Yo-Yo Ma, Sheryl Crow and Jay-Z were featured on his, uh, iPod.

“I have pretty eclectic tastes,” Obama said in the Stone interview. He also has a pretty selective memory, forgetting that his presidential campaign announced its vice presidential pick via text message, e-mail and Twitter.

The Obama campaign broke new ground by embedding ads in such Internet games as “Guitar Hero” as well as nine Xbox Live games from Electronic Arts Inc., including “Madden 09,” “Nascar 09,” “NBA Live 08” and “NHL 09.” But, hey, there’s so much information out there, it’s easy to get distracted.

The real problem for Obama and those who would help him in his promised fundamental transformation of America is that all this technology and information has let the average citizen determine the truth for himself or herself. It’s what gave rise to the Tea Party movement and community organizers of the right. Ah, there’s the rub.


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