Monday, June 2, 2008

A Plea For Intelligent Discussion

There are a number of news sources I admire and pretty much trust, like NPR and Diane Rehm. However, there is established practice in the mainstream media that is creeping into these high quality sources of balance and perspective. This is the seemingly reasonable practice of inviting "news makers" to participate in the commentary and analysis of those issues in which they are involved. I am not talking here about inviting the UN Secretary General to discuss future directions in international cooperation. The problem I have is when the campaign manager for John McCain spends 15 minutes shouting at the democratic party official. What the hell do you think these guys are going to say? Do you really expect the Obama supporter to concede that McCain has a forward-looking and innovative plan for mass transit? Of course not. You are going to get spin, spin, spin, spin, spin. Please don't waste my time. The same goes for predictably doctrinaire pundits. I know what Bill Kristol is going to argue so I simply turn off the program as soon as he launches into his standard spiel.

Now there are some somewhat more nuanced pundits. Pat Buchanan, for instance, is unexpectedly evenhanded at times. But I want insight and perspective from people who have listened closely, cut through the crap, and can present honest, intelligent analysis. You can keep the shouting heads.

2 comments:

Lee McBride said...

NPR? Come on Scott. That's the most liberal media association on the airways. NPR makes Fox News look fair and balanced.

Other than that I enjoyed your blog, and for what it is worth, I don't watch those types of interviews for exactly the reason you stated. They're not bringing anything new to a discussion.
I could script what they're going to say.

It's dumb, uninsipired journalism. I'd much rather see someone who has no obvious agenda discussing the issues. One problem though, who in this country has no agenda?

Lee

Scott Ferguson said...

I would agree that NPR has a liberal lean and I consciously filter out the more egregious examples but they provide a depth of coverage that I see nowhere else. Besides, they invite token conservatives every once in a while. Unfortunately these have been administration spokesmen of late.

Although I agree that everyone has an agenda, there is certainly a matter of degree that can be considered.