When a Gallup poll this summer showed that 80 percent of Americans have little faith in the news media, there was a good deal of consternation in U.S. newsrooms. Some of it came from me. We’re used to getting called liars by the hucksters and connivers and knaves we write about. But it’s pretty frustrating to hear that readers don’t trust us, either.
They call economics the dismal science. Actually, during my years as a foreign correspondent, I found it pretty lively, especially in countries with left-wing governments attempting to rewrite the laws of supply and demand.
When the Supreme Court effectively outlawed the online TV service Aereo last week, the first temptation was to dismiss the ruling as the confused ravings of a bunch of old people confounded by this newfangled Interweb stuff. Sort of like Larry King’s famous confession a few years ago that he’d never been online: “What, do you punch little buttons and things?”