FROM Charles Kenny
Television, a Power for Good or Cultural Suicide? Since the first broadcast in 1928, television "has been as reviled as it has been welcomed." In 1953, science fiction writer Ray Bradbury called it "that insidious beast…that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little." But is TV really responsible for "poor health, ignorance and moral decline?" In the current issue of Foreign Policy, World Bank economist Charles Kenny writes that television still rules our world -- even in the age of the Internet -- and often for good, rather than evil.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.