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Al Gore and I agree ....
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yeah, it's my shock headline for the day. Not to worry, it has nothing to do with global warming. In fact it is a very small portion of a large interview he did on the Larry King Show the other night. The agreement? Here:
KING: What about our politicians in all of this? Are they better than your father's day or worse?

GORE: I think that both politicians and journalists are now the best-educated, the best-prepared of any prior generation with the exception of the generation of our founders, which was just an extraordinary collection of individuals that were true geniuses.

But I think that there are among the politicians today a lot of good people trapped in a bad system. And what they find is the necessity to rely on these 30-second television commercials and the manipulative emotion-based messages instead of a reasoned argument.

And when you combine that with the media's emphasis on things like the horserace and how somebody combs his hair or whether some word was used in an awkward way, the net result is that the American people don't have a chance to join the conversation and what they get thrown at them is trivialities and banalities.
The highlighted portion echoes my biggest complaint about the political media. They do indeed concentrate on the horserace to the detriment of the underlying and important issues. That's because the horserace is more interesting, more exciting and sells better. And, as Gore says, that means what people are left to read about or listen too are the banalities and trivialities of the race, not the substance.

And that gets to a core question ... are 'news organizations' in the business to inform or entertain? The problem, and part of this is brought on by the public itself, is entertainment sells and pays better. So, increasingly, it seems we are getting news as entertainment instead of information.

If, indeed, that is a significant problem, and I believe it is, how in the world does one change that trend so that there is less focus on the horserace and more on substance? Gore thinks that's one thing "the internet" is providing (by which I assume he includes blogs). I'd agree. I'd also agree that until the political media adjusts to the demand for substance (if they ever do), that more and more people are going to go to political blogs for substance and analysis.

Question: Do you foresee the main stream political media adjusting to this demand, or do you think the trend toward "infotainment" will continue?
 
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Do you foresee the main stream political media adjusting to this demand, or do you think the trend toward "infotainment" will continue?
Mainstream media? Nope. Not when shows like Idol and ET are what people are interested in. Boortz has always said, meet someone on the street and ask them who their reps are in DC. 9 times out of 10 you’ll get a blank stare. Then ask them who won Idol or who the University football coach is and they will go on and on. I have used the question myself and find that 9 out of 10 is low...
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
"And that gets to a core question ... are ’news organizations’ in the business to inform or entertain?"
Whatever makes them money. So apparently more people want to be entertained than informed. Why is that?
I’d also agree that until the political media adjusts to the demand for substance...
What demand? These capitalists aren’t fools, generally. If the demand is there, someone is going to figure out how to profit from it. There’s plenty of substance at this blog. Why aren’t your ads selling for thousands of dollars a day in reflection of the huge demand for your substance?

If, as Gore says, politicians are generally good people trapped in a bad system, I don’t think placing blame on the media is going to solve anything. If these people are all so good, they should be able to change the system from within. I don’t think the media has anything to do with their generally bad behavior in the halls of Congress. In fact, I don’t think many of them are all that good. If they were at one time, power has corrupted them and they’ve lost sight of the real mission.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
And thus are begun the End of Days...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I agree, and I think there are two primary reasons why journalists focus more on the horserace than substantive issues. First, it’s easier to talk about the horserace. You don’t really have to know anything. No one really knows the future, so there aren’t any "wrong" answers. In this way, covering the horserace appeals to reporters’ laziness and their desire to play the role of pundit.

Second, covering the horserace is safe. It’s descriptive, not normative. Reporters can cover it without worrying about being accused of "bias". When they cover substantive issues, one side or the other is likely to accuse them of being unfair to their side of the issue.
 
Written By: Anonymous Liberal
URL: http://www.anonymousliberal.com
And what they find is the necessity to rely on these 30-second television commercials and the manipulative emotion-based messages instead of a reasoned argument.
Not true, some politicians have used manipulative emotion-based messages in Oscar winning documentaries that were much longer than 30 seconds, but still achieving the same effect.
But I think that there are among the politicians today a lot of good people trapped in a bad system.


Or maybe its just a bunch of bad people who were attracted to a bad system that they could manipulate to their advantage.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
Which just goes to show you that even vile Al Gore can say something intelligent once in a blue moon. It’s like those monkeys on the typewriters.

For a number of reasons, and in a number of ways, I believe that the media is the number one problem facing society. For example, without the media, we would have far fewer terrorists and school shootings. The ATTENTION given these murderers is one of the (granted, not the only) reasons they do what they do.
 
Written By: slick
URL: http://
Nice work. I liked your site... Best regards!
 
Written By: Hazel
URL: http://www.google.com/

 
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