Friday, September 12, 2008

The Inane Campaign

The New Jersey Star-Ledger newspaper published this editorial today condemning both McCain and Obama for not focusing on real issues. Mostly McCain though.

Here was my response to them:

You make a good point about irrelevant issues occupying the majority of time in the election campaign so far. But I disagree with you about the blame falling mostly on McCain's shoulders. This is clearly incorrect. The greatest blame of all falls collectively with all of you in the mainstream media.

It started the day after Sarah Palin's introduction to the national stage. Radical Left bloggers started generating an endless stream of rumors and smears and the mainstream media (MSM) blindly reported on many of them without any fact checking. This wave of attacks didn't destroy her but only made her more popular.

So then vicious personal attacks started occurring from MSM columnists, many of them women. Are they entitled to their opinions? Absolutely, but clearly in the minds of many a line was crossed. This 2nd wave of attacks didn't destroy her either. Her popularity just kept going up.

At the same time countless news articles kept coming out with a clear bias against Palin. The headlines were often misleading and often the interior text seemed more like an editorial than a news story. Ditto again on the end effect and her popularity.

The 3rd wave of attacks occurred on TV. The worst of all was the coverage at the RNC by MSNBC but other networks were far from unbiased. Then last night there was Charlie Gibson's interview on ABC. Tough questions are what we all want (of ALL politicians incidentally!) but his body language spoke volumes, especially to tens of millions of women watching. Also, we learned today from Charles Krauthammer that Palin was not the one who made the gaffe about the Bush Doctrine. Gibson was. If a journalist is going to try to lead a politician down the "Gotcha" path, they better have their facts correct.

Recent polls have been done, asking for people's perceptions of media bias in favor of Obama and against Palin. Even in very liberal Washington State, the vast majority of respondents could clearly see it.

All of this was a gift from God for the Republicans and they milked it for all it was worth. As would everyone else in the same situation!

So yes, with just 53 days left, serious issues should be discussed. The American people demand it! Step #1 is for every journalist who cares about their profession to put their own egos aside, stop worrying about their own popularity, and start doing their job. Step #2 is for media outlets to not play into the "You are too; I am not" nonsense. Just don't report on it and the politicians will be forced to focus back on the real issues facing America.

But can even a minority of the MSM accomplish Step #1? Somehow I doubt it.

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