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Inside the Bubble

Dec
31
2005

I had been a skeptic of the “Bush in a Bubble” theory advanced by Newsweek earlier this month until I went to Texas for Christmas last week and learned first hand how easy it is to get caught in a media bubble where you aren’t challenged by pesky things like facts.
Of course, the bubble I experienced did not involve a resounding war victory in Iraq or tales of a booming economy. Nope…I, an avowed USC Trojan, went into the heart of Texas Longhorn country to celebrate the Holidays, er, Christmas (sorry Mr. O’Reilly!).
As a Texan by birth, I can tell you just how easy it is for us to build our own media bubbles which outside facts cannot penetrate. Just look at the results of this ESPN poll leading up to the Heisman Trophy announcement in early December.
The local media convinced Texans to believe just the opposite of what the rest of the nation had already reached consensus on–and even Vince Young bought into the bubble so much that he was about the only person in New York who seemed surprised at the final outcome!
I cannot really explain how this happens, but the same factors that allow Vince Young to think that he’s the cat’s meow are probably the same that allowed George Bush to praise the state of the economy while people’s consumer confidence was at all-time lows.
One contributing factor may be a statewide aversion to the national media. In San Antonio or Austin, if it isn’t in the Express News or American Statesman, it isn’t worth knowing. Reading the New York Times is a sign of pretension–subscribing may get your house vandalized. This attitude seems to have, unfortunately, carried over to the White House, as well, resulting in a President who, at times, appears not to be able to be bothered by those pesky things like facts.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 12:25 PM | Permalink

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