The campaign should start and finish in six weeks, and there should be free TV access to both candidates. And it should be illegal to publish poll numbers. This isn't as crazy as it sounds – they actually had such a law in Russia while I lived there, and people were much happier. (Well, they were still miserable, because they were Russian, but at least they weren't stressing about poll numbers.) Think about it: Banning poll numbers would force the media to actually cover the issues. As it stands now, the horse race is the entire story – I can think of a couple of cable networks that would have to go completely dark tomorrow, as in Dan-Rather-Dead-Fucking-Air dark, if they had to come up with even 10 seconds of news content that wasn't centered on who was winning. That's the dirtiest secret we in the media have kept from you over the years: Most of us suck so badly at our jobs, and are so uninterested in delving into any polysyllabic subject, that we would literally have to put down our shovels and go home if we didn't have poll numbers we can use to terrify our audiences. Can you imagine if your favorite news network had to do stories like, "What is the Overseas Private Investment Corporation up to, and what do each of the candidates think about it?" That would be like asking Nineties-era baseball players to take the field without popping greenies – what, you mean play the game sober? Half the on-air talent would have to resign, or do ad work hawking reverse mortgages. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-the-hype-became-bigger-than-the-presidential-election-20121009#ixzz28q14q2xn
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Taibbi has it right!
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has a great column today, about how the real news takes a back seat to the hype. And the idea I like the best is this one (emphasis here & there is mine):