I never thought I would say such a thing, being a political junkie……but please, someone stick a fork in my eye (or ear) before I have to listen to one more stupid, lying, political ad. I love politics, I’ve got almost a half century under my belt covering politics as a broadcast journalist, but the route this chore has taken in the past few years is simply littered with crap. And that’s the nicest word I could think of to use. It’s awful, its embarrassing and honestly people, it’s serving no-one. On the Presidential campaign trail, both candidates lie through their teeth when it comes to the advertising on radio and television, but does the legit media pick it up and follow through? Not a chance. It’s easier to let the social media do it….let the Facebook crowd and Twitter users give us a running tally on who they think is telling the truth and this…..is terribly disconcerting. Does the local Baker ask the public how to make the donuts? No. Does the local architect ask the public how best to design a building? No. Does the doctor take a consensus on Twitter before he decides whether to operate? No. But to whom do the so-called “top” journalists on television turn to????? Pick a top anchorman or woman…any one of them…..and how many times have you heard that anchor person say…..”we want to know how you, our listeners feel about this…etc…” Any journalist worth his or her salt doesn’t give a good damn (and shouldn’t) what the public thinks of the story. If you’re doing a talk show…yes, invite the public in…an opinion program…absolutely. But NOT in the news business. You, the journalist, the anchorperson…..whatever…….you should have studied the story, you should have edited it fairly for public consumption, and you present it. It doesn’t matter what the Facebook people think. It doesn’t matter what the Tweeters think and if you can’t back up the story on your own expertise…..you don’t belong in the business.
Politics has blurred the line….or perhaps more correctly, the media has blurred the line. Blurred…….hell it has erased the line between journalism and bloviating and I for one, struggle to accept the consequences. It ain’t pretty….but as I stated at the top of this page…….at least when it comes to politics 2012………”It’s almost over folks……almost over!!!!!!!”