A Hard Job

Politicians and journalists are strange bedfellows indeed.  Politicians and journalists depend upon each other for their jobs.  Politicians depend on journalists to get their message out to the people.  Journalists get much of their source material from politicians.  People depend on journalists for fair, unbiased factual information.  Journalists take the charge of the people seriously, considering themselves a watchdog of the political process.

This political season we have heard much about the candidates, and watched as reporters have tried to retain their non-partisan detachment.  Trying to get a candidate or their surrogates to answer a question directly is difficult.

Reporters  make one clumsy attempt after another to rephrase, restate, and re-frame questions over and over again.  Asking about the latest challenge to the candidate, the reporter must sit calmly while the candidate or the surrogate spouts canned factually ambiguous rhetoric, explaining how what was said wasn’t really meant, because the person being run against is far worse.

Trying to get to the candidates position on issues such as taxes, trade, security and defense prove illusive, as the reporters are kept busy stumbling with continuous fact checking.  Reporters must work with verified and cross checked facts, but not so the candidates.  Candidates can say anything, in any way they want, because facts come second to feelings.

It has been painful to watch reporters fumble, stumble, and bumble along during interviews and debates.  No matter how carefully a question is phrased, the candidate often goes another way, ignoring the question entirely.  When the candidate can’t blame his standings in the polls on the opposition, the candidate blames the way the press does its job.

From this point on, I really don’t need to worry about it.  As far as I am concerned the dye is cast.  I have already cast my vote.  I asked Hubby, can we stop watching CNN, NBC, Fox and other election coverage now?  Hubby says we still have to watch.

I can’t help feeling bad for the reporters whose job it is to cover this story.  I especially feel bad for serious publications I respect:  The Post, and The New York Times.

 

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8 thoughts on “A Hard Job

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  1. Interviewing is another art that is not trained properly today. I don’t watch a lot of US political stuff but in this country every interview is scripted and pretty much every press release and live Q&A is pre-organised with questions approved by the political party before they are asked. That’s not entirely the fault of the interviewer but we are no longer producing hard hitting journos unafraid of asking questions off script instead we are producing script reading monkeys who don’t step out of line in case they don’t get an interview again next week. We used to have some good journos in this country, the type who would ask the questions people wanted to hear, not the questions the pollies wanted to answer but one threat and they back away. Then you get an idiot like Rupe Murdoch who controls said reporters like puppets and it’s no wonder people don’t want to be journos.

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      1. Some do here but there are still too many that just think they do. In this country it used to be a case of Broadsheet journos had a reputation for decent journalism, the kind where questions were asked and answered and it was well written. Where as the tabloid type journos just wrote words and hooks to sell newspapers (not unlike the weekly entertainment magazines). But with the lack of readership all newspapers have in this country now and the fact that idiots like Rupe own newspapers and demand his staff have the same beliefs as him, even broadsheet journos are turning to tabloid headlines and writing.

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      2. We are obviously in a transition from the rule of print journalism to what comes next. Most get their news onlineveryday now. On TV news people use terms like “throwing shade” instead of disrespect.

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      3. Not long back I gave up watching and reading the news completely. Just couldn’t be bothered listening/reading the same rehashed garbage day in day out. The weirdest thing was that when I stopped the news ban and went back reading and watching it was like a soap opera. I picked up the story almost instantly, remembered the characters and thought I had heard the stories before.

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