Comparative Analysis of Two Essays

Topics: Bill Clinton, President of the United States, George W. Bush Pages: 1 (299 words) Published: October 18, 2014
Comparative Analysis of Two Essays on Truth and the Media Both "Who Killed Privacy?" and "The Shock of the True" deal with the subject of truth and the media, each has a different focus. In Roger Rosenblatt's "Who Killed Privacy" the issue is whether the fact that something is true justifies it as a subject for discussion in the media, and to what extent the public interest in the subject is appropriate. "The Shock of the True" is an exploration of crime and violence as a subject of works of non-fiction. Both authors imply that a great deal is printed or shown in the media for the express purpose of satisfying the public's lust for the lurid or the scandalous. Individual privacy enters into the discussion in the first of the essays, with the author concluding that the truth of a statement often bears no relevance and that details of the private lives of public figures are exploited for the titillation and curiosity of the public. Reference is made to the details of improper conduct made about George Bush and Bill Clinton and the sexual scandal of presidential candidate Gary Hart: "...it seemed clear to most voters that the ability of both men to govern was not impaired by their scandals. Yet Gary Hart's boaty fling seemed to indicate a person out of control, so a distinction was drawn." The author cites well-known instances of the intense focus on private, but true, facts that constitute an abusive use of the freedom to disseminate information. He mentions TRW and other credit agencies for making private information available without regard to its accuracy, and chastised programs like "Marketplace Households" for publishing software containing personal, financial and consumer habits of individuals. He states that, despite legal efforts to the contrary,
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