Friday, March 25, 2011

What's The Point of Having Political Party Strategists on News Shows?

I was watching a Fox News Show yesterday hosted by Megyn Kelly, and, once again, she had a Democratic Party strategist and a Republican Party strategist debating one of the issues of the day, the Libyan war or excursion or whatever the Obama Administration chooses to call it on any given day. 

As I was listening to the discussion, I wondered what's the point of having these two political party strategists on the show?  I got from the news segment exactly what I expected to get and nothing more, certainly nothing news worthy.  The Republican strategist condemned President Obama and could find nothing positive about his stance in Libya.  The Democratic strategist defended the President and could find nothing wrong with what Obama is doing.  Of course, the Democratic strategist brought up the presidency of George W. Bush and denounced the way the former President conducted his foreign policy.  I guess the Democratic Party thinks Bush bashing is still a good strategy even though he has been out of office for more than two years now.

Does anyone really believe that having Democratic and Republican strategists talking past each other in opposing filibusters does anything to inform the public?   It may involve balance, but little more.  Am I the only one who is tired of seeing the same ideological talking heads talk past each other every day on the so-called news networks?  What do you really expect to get from Paul Begala or Newt Gingrich, but the same repetition of their talking points?  Can’t news stations find more experts who don’t have a political stake in the discussion?  When you finish watching these news programs, don’t you often think that you can’t really believe much of anything you just heard?

Most journalists and communicators with whom I have had contact are hard-working people who I have grown to like very much, but even they have heard me denounce what passes for journalism today. Every day, I see questions that are not being asked and facts not being pursued. Information is routinely ignored that would provide for better, more complete reporting.  In fact, I am not above suggesting that as communications professionals, what most of the journalists and spin doctors have done is to cloud the truth so much that it is almost impossible to understand what the facts are, let alone even come close to approximating the truth.

In recent years, poll after poll after poll indicates that the American public no longer trusts most American institutions, whether they be social, political, private, corporate or religious.  In fact, it appears that most Americans are beginning to mistrust almost everything they hear from the media or the spin doctors that represent our once most cherished institutions.  Why do you think that most people don’t vote anymore?  Why do you think that most people don’t watch the network news?  It is my premise that they have already decided that they can’t trust anyone, from the President to the local archbishop. 

The public trust in just about everything is at an all-time low.  It seems as though those polls are shouting out to our country’s leadership, “Will anyone tell us the truth?”  Unfortunately, it appears that our leaders in the media and most other professions and vocations aren’t listening.

No comments:

Post a Comment