The problem with fanatics, the Listhaugs, the Wilders, the ISs and the Al Qaedas of this world is that you, as a reasonable person will never be able to win a reasoned argument with them. Fanatics are always more dedicated to their causes than reasonable people ever can be, that being the whole point to fanaticism. Fanatics will be out at the crack of dawn, promoting their “alternative facts” while the rest of us are still waiting for our eggs to boil, our coffee to percolate and our toast to pop up cheerfully from the toaster.
Then one day, as we are enjoying a particularly good boiled egg, the perfect cup of coffee and some crisp fresh toast we turn around and notice that all the newspapers that used to practice proper journalism are gone. That the radio and TV documentaries that look past the sound bites and check the facts and sources against each other are no longer regarded as relevant by the vast majority of the population. That all the humanist voices suggesting that people who are not like us should be treated with dignity and respect will have disappeared into the margins of the internet, the margins currently occupied by today’s fanatics.
What will we do then?
For my part I have decided that after twenty years of “free” news on the internet it is high time for me to start paying money to quality news outlets for the work they do before they are driven out of business. It is an easy thing to do and a small price to pay for my children’s future.
I hope it is not a case of too little too late…