Sunday, September 11, 2005

Same old (head)line

It's helpful for a political junky (and journalism student) like me to be able to step back recite a basic fact to myself: a hyperpolitical outlook on the news can paint a very different picture than what really exists. For the average journalist, life in American is simply one long horse race in-between elections where every piece of news is compared and evaluated on the basis of how it will affect the next election.

It never changes. Just like all the other paint-by-number coverage from Katrina. The current line is this: a weak response from Bush shows he doesn't really care. From verbal celeb tirades to Judy Keen and Richard Benedetto's blowhard "news analysis" on page two of USA Today about the President's response to Katrina. What it amounts to is a hatchet job similar to the implicit attacks on Bush post 9/11. I can still remember the sneering ABC line after Bush's rock-the-world speech a week afterward: "A president finds his voice."

Where do journalists learn to see everything through red and blue tinted glasses? In the classroom. I've heard it many times at Western: a political science depth or minor is usually recommended for journalism students so that's what a big chunk of them take. It may not be because their journalism professors want to have the news reported that way, but they might think a journalist wouldn't be able to survive in America without a solid political science education. Unfortunately, those "survival" skills usually translate into bickering about how the president needs to be more expressive and empathetic--or the democrats might start looking like reformers (hint hint: the democrats ARE reformers!)

I've felt like holding my nose as I wade through the coverage of Katrina--and not because dead bodies disgust me.
<< Home 3 Comments:
Anonymous Robert said...

It's this same, constant tie-in with the Presidential elections that have completely polarized this country. The United States of America was never supposed to be covered by a federal government that represented a homogenous nation. We should be independant states that are diverse and different. The liberal media keeps piling responsibility and duties on the Whitehouse when what is needed (especially in this case) in not Big Government to "take care" of us, but for civic-minded citizens from all walks of life to chip in and be America, not wait for answers from D.C.

4:34 PM, September 11, 2005  
Blogger Mark R said...

Here here Robert! Viva federalism!

4:46 PM, September 11, 2005  
Blogger Gloria said...

Personaly for me. I really don't like to watch the news on TV. Because a lot of things they tell you are for one political thing or another. And it really gets old after while. This is not saying I don't know what is happening. But lets just say I don't talk about it much.

7:43 PM, September 13, 2005  

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