Saturday, January 14, 2017


Okay, okay, I am shamelessly using click bait tactics to grab attention. I was just curious......did it work?
Anyway, I am watching cable news right now. There was just a segment on Obamacare. They interviewed two different people about the law. One of the interviews was pretty respectful. The questions were asked and the answers were given. No interruptions. No contradicting points of view were offered. No contradicting evidence of any kind presented. However.....
The very next interview was completely different. The reporter asked and even before the answer was given began talking and contradicting. The person being interviewed got, on average, about three seconds to answer before being interrupted. The segment featured the reporter talking over the person being interviewed for at least half the time.In fact, the longest period of uninterrupted time this person got was the thank you for having me part.
As a viewer, as the audience supposedly benefitting from the services I am purchasing by proxy from this network via my cable subscription and by being a consumer who buys stuff, the end result of watching two interviews was not acceptable and did not serve my interests. It served their interests and their views. Not exactly impartial.
This is not news, this is not fair reporting. This is BS, a waste of time, and quite frankly it angers me. I am capable of listening to the two different sides, listening to the positions, and deciding for myself. I do not need or want a cable news network deciding for me which side I need to hear.
This is just one of many ways news organizations fail us. Let me be completely honest. I am on one side of this particular debate. My views on the subject are very strong and I believe well considered. However, I believe there are valid arguments and concerns that contradict both sides. What I believe would constitute good reporting, good journalism, in covering this story is far different from what I just saw.
If I were to be given the trust of a paying audience, and believe me you do pay for this service, I would approach the task of doing that job for you completely differently. Most of the work involved would be off screen. I would strive to be impartial, I would strive to gather facts. I would educate myself on the positions of both sides. Most importantly, if I were to interview someone I would do the viewer the courtesy of allowing them to hear that person present their case. It would not be my job to argue with them. I seriously doubt any reporter is ever going to deliver an epiphany. A reporter is not Jesus, the politician is not Paul, and television is not the Damascus road. My job, as a reporter, would be to serve the viewers by giving them access to the differing sides to hear what they have to say and then to present verifiable facts and valid concerns which may or may not support what either side is saying.
Just in case you are wondering the cable network I am watching is Fox. The person who was so heavily interrupted was a Republican supporting repealing Obamacare. The person whose position I was allowed to hear was a Democrat speaking in favor of Obamacare.
Does that surprise you?
It really shouldn't. Our news media is not doing the job we deserve folks. It is not doing the job we are paying for. Often times a veiled bias does far more damage than a blatant lie.
We deserve better.

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