What Went Wrong? Who’s to Blame?

TV news is getting faster. It now takes them less time than ever, after a major event, to turn from "what is happening?" to "What went wrong, and who's to blame?"

Each news show invites a panel of "experts" to illuminate us about which ignorant, incompetent, or malicious people caused this latest mess. Unfortunately, the experts never seem to agree. Each expert has a favorite whipping boy. The end of every discussion of "what went wrong and who's to blame" produces no clear answer, only a list of nasty, evil people to choose from: liberals, conservatives, greedy corporate fat cats, bureaucrats, congress, the President, homeowners who shout "not in my back yard," gays, and Gray Davis. And the list is always the same old tired list of scapegoats who were to blame the last 23 times something went wrong.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. When I see something as repeatable and predictable as this, it must be intentional. Somebody must be benefiting from it. Somebody must be benefiting from making sure that we focus on blame, that we spread the blame around to everyone (and therefore to no-one), and that, in the end, we're no closer to solving the problem.

So who benefits? And what is the benefit?

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