Sunday, April 18, 2010

Consensus, Controversy, and Deviance

The national press, despite its power and occasional hobbyhorses, sees its role as “witnessing,” as serving up a “daily diary of debate,” as offering “a platform for independent inquiry and investigation” — but not as setting the terms of public discussion.

But, is it really possible for the media to be objective?

"A long-term focus on shifting the Overton window allows a think tank to follow its ideals and perform a genuinely positive public service, instead of being constrained to merely advocating those policies that are currently possible. When the window of political possibilities is moved along the political spectrum, the impossible becomes desirable and the simply desirable becomes imperative. This is the true influence of a think tank — shaping the political climate of future legislative and legal debates by researching, educating, involving and inspiring."

Ideas and topics can shift up and down the scale of acceptability:
  • Unthinkable
  • Radical
  • Acceptable
  • Sensible
  • Popular
  • Policy

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