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September 14, 2008
You don't know this

With apologies to E. J. Dionne, whose opinions I usually enjoy reading, I have to say that you're full of crap.

Few voters know that Obama would cut the taxes of the vast majority of Americans by far more than McCain would. Few know Obama would guarantee everyone access to health care or that McCain's health plan might endanger coverage many already have. Few know that Obama has a coherent program to create new jobs through public investment in roads, bridges, transit, and green technologies.

In short, few Americans know what (or whom) Obama is fighting for, because he isn't really telling them.

He tells them. He tells them in every speech he makes. It's your colleagues and coworkers on the "news" side of the page who are failing to report on the issues.

I've seen ample coverage of lipstick when I was looking for coverage of the problems in our educational system, the sub-prime lending market's meltdown, the high cost of health care, what we're going to do about the messes we've created in Iraq and Afghanistan, preventing offshore drilling, developing alternative energy sources, saving social security, etc.

< Educational Interlude >

Dear Media People:

You do not have to report on idiocies. I know you're afraid that the Right will scream that you're not covering them fairly if you don't, but you don't have to cover stupidity. Screaming doesn't actually hurt (except maybe your eardrums a little.) If one campaign doesn't say anything "newsworthy" on a particular day, then they don't get any coverage. Simple?

Or, if you're really scared -- go ahead and report the stupidity. First, report the substance of a speech Mr. Obama makes on fixing this country's health care system. Then, by way of "fairness" announce that McCain's campaign released a press statement expressing outrage over Obama's use of a common metaphor.

Report Obama's position on rebuilding this country's infrastructure, then report that the McCain campaign has issues a press release expressing outrage because the media won't react to Obama's insulting use of a common metaphor.

Report Obama's tax plan, and then report that the McCain campaign has issued three more press releases and two online videos screaming themselves hoarse that the media is ignoring Metaphor-gate.

Without showing any bias at all, by just showing where each campaign has its attention each day, you'll be "reporting the news." And the voters who don't have four hours a day to spend online, finding the real news that your newspaper/news program is not telling them? Will be able to tell for themselves which campaign has substance and which campaign has--nothing but a man desperately determined to gain office.


< End Education >

If Mr. Obama spent every, single day campaigning, 24 hours a day, speaking in front of live audiences, he would not have time to reach everyone in the country. That's what the national news media is for--to disseminate the news to people who have no other way of receiving it. If you feel his message is not getting out, kindly point your accusing finger at the correct culprits. Tell your colleagues to leave the lipstick behind and do a little real reporting.

Saying that he has to use "crisp" language to "force" the media to cover his positions on the issues is just ridiculous. No one can "force" the media to do anything but their (right-leaning) corporate owners. And blaming Mr. Obama's language for being insufficiently "crisp" is the same as saying you're not interested in any policies that can't be delivered as a punch sound-bite or encapsulated in a headline.

I sweartogod, if the media doesn't stop acting like the voting population has an IQ of 50 and the attention span of a butterfly, I'm going to scream. You'd think that, at the very least, the appearance of 10,000+ political blogs online would have convinced someone that ordinary people are quite capable of understanding complex issues. And that they care.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:16 AM