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Sincere Thoughts For Cynical Times

We missed the syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" this weekend but Bree Nordenson at CJRDaily didn't and brings us this gem of wisdom from guest panelist David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times: "One of the things I've found in life is that politicians are a lot more sincere than us journalists and we are more sincere than the people that read and watch us." Nordenson notes that Brooks was responding as part of a discussion on satire and its impact on breeding cynicism, and continues:
Brooks seems to have conflated cynicism with paranoia in an effort to continue his longstanding battle against conspiracy theorists. He said that the public's cynicism is "stupid' and "pseudointellectual" since "most people in public office are pretty honest."

But it's certainly not unreasonable to have satirical political commentary around to point out the instances when our government is deceiving an often-credulous public -- even if the message often doesn't get through. (A significant portion of the public still believes that Iraq was in cahoots with al Qaeda before 9/11, despite a barrage of information, commentary and, yes, satirical parody to the contrary.)

We think Katty Kay of the BBC summed it up best on the same show: "People are cynical because these are times worth being cynical about."

Pop! That was the sound of Brooks' balloon bursting.

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