Some people are addicted to heroin. Some are addicted to pornography. Some are alcoholics. Of all the vices one might have, I consider mine to be of the more socially acceptable variety. I am addicted to C-SPAN, NPR, and any other sources of balanced debate and information on current events, history, non-fiction literature, philosophy, science, etc.
Behind every addiction is a tragic flaw. Mine is a kind of manic curiosity about the way the world works. So in that sense, C-SPAN is one of my drug dealers.
The reason I write about it now is that Brian Lamb (founder of C-SPAN) is stepping down from his post as CEO of CSPAN. So why not take this chance to celebrate one of my favorite organizations…
What I like most about CSPAN is the non-political programs such as Book TV. It provides interviews with or presentations by authors of complex and fascinating non-fiction books. The more political programs such as Washington Journal are also interesting. They have a variety of experts (actual ones, not simply pundits) on to discuss the major events of the day. It’s really one of the best methods to get informed in a balanced way about the major happenings of the day.
What I don’t like about the Washington Journal is that they take callers and purposefully are very loose about screening those calls. They don’t just take callers with calm intelligent questions, but they also take the calls that are neither intelligent, well-informed, calm, or even have a question. Even more, some of these people has trouble stringing together words and sentences that make any sense. Some others simply read out talking points they undoubtedly picked up from an ultra-partisan website or radio show. When I listen to Washington Journal, I like to skip over these calls and just listen to the answers, allowing my blood to remain room temperature for the most part.
PS: The tone and style of this blog post reflects not so much my outlook on a life of learning, but the fact that I’ve had several cups of coffee back to back, and believe that this gives me the power to be clever. Denial is a wonderful thing.