It can’t happen here, right?

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This line caught my eye from Love Thy Neighbor, Peter Maas's account of covering the great mess of Bosnia and Serbia in the early 1990s:

The most amazing thing about the role of television was that it not only had the power to form people's opinions, it could change those opinions overnight, like playing with a yo-yo.

And later, this quote from an opposition Serb journalist:

You must imagine a United States with every little TV station everywhere taking exactly the same editorial line — a line dictated by David Duke. You too would have war in five years.

I read this and reminds me of my worries about news organizations less interested in shocking readers than pleasing advertisers. And I'm not singling out any particular news org or saying I haven't been party to this sort of thinking.

That's why it's good to read books like Maas's.

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