Greg Conti, a cool young writer about political trends who works at Princeton University says the following about the Mainstream Media and higher education, comments that seem as relevant to NZ as the US (parallels with the Kiwi case have been inserted by this Blog):
"The New York Times [NZ Herald] .. has seen the crumbling of the distinction between news & opinion; the acceptance of double standards for those espousing certain views & the tolerance of intimidation of some employees by those with more favored beliefs; and the end of the traditional routes of meritorious promotion through the ranks. But the paper has hardly collapsed; if anything, it looms larger in our national life than ever. It has transcended the position of a mere reporting service .. and attained something like the status of an oracle for [a sizeable chunk] of the population.
That is real power - it is more power than the Times [Herald] has ever possessed. At the same time .. the paper has lost its ability to wield influence over those who see it as anything other than infallible. For those still influenceable by the Times [Herald], its impact is more totalizing than ever; to this faction, it now claims the remarkable capacity to separate the clean from the unclean, the sayable from the unsayable ..
Things have gone similarly with the Centre for Disease Control [NZ Health Department], the National Institutes of Health & highest reaches of the public-health apparatus. These were [once] broadly trusted institutions .. But with Covid, they seized their moment to assert that their dictates were coextensive with science itself. A not insignificant portion of the left, consisting of people who likely never gave these agencies an hour’s thought before 2020, would still jump off a bridge if the CDC director [Ashley Bloomfield in NZ] told them doing so would mitigate the next surge; they retain the conviction the only reason we didn’t eliminate Covid was that the public was culpably indifferent to expertise.
Yet trust in science is reaching new lows .. The inability of public-health organizations and spokespeople to distinguish between value judgments & scientific assessments; their refusal to admit when their modeling was mistaken; their transparent adjustment of “the Science” to suit important constituencies like the teachers’ unions; their unwillingness to acknowledge frankly that nonpharmaceutical interventions made little difference in outcomes; their encouragement of censorship; and their pattern of “noble lies” - all of these have led a sizeable part of the population, hitherto willing to assume the best about what public-health experts had to say, to be permanently resistant to anything these bodies might wish to convey in future, no matter how crucial these messages might be.
If universities continue to operate as they have been doing, a similar fate will be their destination. From being de facto national institutions, a valued part of our shared patrimony, pursuing one of the essential purposes of a great modern society, they are coming to be seen as the instruments of a sect.
Strangely, we have closely been following this same pattern in NZ, whereby our Mainstream Media and education establishments have begun acting more like the "instruments" of a sect or cult, rather than earnestly trying to seek and reveal and disseminate the truth.