"True Enough": More on truthiness and Apple fanboys

A debate with Steven Johnson, and a video on our tendency to see bias in the press.

By Farhad Manjoo
March 20, 2008 9:45PM (UTC)
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Over at Slate this week, Steven Johnson and I are debating the subject of my new book, "True Enough" -- whether the Web, cable news, talk radio and other new communications technologies have "amplified deception" in the world.

The debate came about because I asked Steven -- whose work I admire very much -- to read an early copy. I thought he'd agree with my thesis. He didn't.


Steven's a fun debater, and kind, too; he begins with some very nice words about the book. But he argues that the world is less conspiracy-minded than it was in the '60s and '70s, and that we aren't more politically polarized, either. The Web, he says, may help spread fiction in the world, but it's better at spreading facts.

I think that view's completely wrong. In excerpts I've published on this page this week, I've pointed out how fake news floods TV, how Apple fanatics see bias in evenhanded news and how 9/11 conspiracy theorists use photos to prove an alternative "truth." I think these trends suggest a less honest age.

Who wins? Read our debate and decide for yourself.


And speaking of Apple fanboys (I don't mean you, Steven!), I devoted my weekly video on Current TV to their hate-hate relationship with the tech press. Here's that; Apple fans, if you disagree, don't hurt me. Thanks.


Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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