How the Media Thrives on Denunciation

Philosophy professor Crispin Sartwell explains why the media is obsessed with public condemnations.

November 24, 2017 3:58 pm
Roy Moore
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Judge Roy Moore waits to speak during a news conference with supporters and faith leaders, November 16, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Moore refused to answer questions regarding sexual harassment allegations and pursuing relationships with underage women. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

From Sen. Al Franken to embattled Senate candidate Roy Moore, “[w]e seem to have entered a period of nonstop mutual denunciation,” argues Crispin Sartwell, who teaches philosphy at Dickinson College, in a Wall Street Journal commentary.

He blames the news media for the state of affairs because they need to “fill pages and airtime with nonevents that reporters and pundits invent and then cover.”

This constant moral outrage also gives the public “simple moral guidelines by which a person can establish superior virtue without having to do anything,” Sartwell writes.

But, Sartwell asks: “Is this making anything better? Is it making us better? Is it doing anything to address any substantive problem?”

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