Infected Public Debate

13. 10. 2010 / Bohumil Kartous

I have recently watched an interview, on Czech public television, with addiction specialist Michal Miovský. A couple of days later, I saw on the same channel an interview with the prestigious CNN anchor, Indian-American Fareed Zakaria (the station deserves praise for both). Those interviews had something in common. Michal Miovský, among other things, said that the public discussion over drugs is extremely shallow and ill-informed, based on established stereotypes which are limited to simplistic concept and simplified judgment.

A Czech version of this article is in CLICK HERE

Fareed Zakaria (who is labeled as a liberal) talked about something else, but at the same time, confirmed what Miovský said. He talked about how the American foreign policy is absurd for using military force instead of cultural influence to achieve their objectives. Also that Al-Kaida is more a line of thought than an actual terrorist network. And that we are in are not under any major threat, as it may seem like from what we get from the media. He basically defended opinions which almost no one in the Czech media scene has the guts to say, because here nobody wants to stand against the local ethos of dull-minded and tendentious opinion makers, who care more about not going against the waves, then about the real facts.

From those interviews I felt the certainty, that both talked about their subjects with authority and real knowledge. It is however very frustrating to realize that such level of argumentation is very rare in the Czech media, which heavily relies on the mythologies that dictate the public discourse and that rather ferociously fights any dissent, thus leading to this understanding that "about certain things it is better to not say anything"...

Nowadays it is even more necessary to confront and doubt the political myths created by the media, be it when it comes to the issue of drug use or about global politics, which just parrot and set the same agenda. And that can be seen as a dangerous virus, which infected and is causing dementia to the Czech public discourse.


Obsah vydání | Sobota 10.12. 2016