Archive for the ‘Character’ Category

Service of Character in the News

Monday, August 24th, 2020

Photo: areyoulivingwell.com

“Character is on the ballot,” sneered a radio newsman on Friday, the morning after the conclusion of the Democratic convention.

Shouldn’t such a “report,” delivered with a sarcastic intonation, have been presented in a vanilla voice, as a quote, not as a news headline?

I miss the day when you could only guess the politics of those who deliver the news or more likely you wouldn’t think about it. There still are 24 hour radio news programs where efficient newscasters reiterate highlights, traffic and weather reports. Otherwise, nonpartisan has been hard to find for years.

Doris Kearns Goodwin Photo: aarp.org

Some of my favorite reporters, such as Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd, have tipped their hands. Like historians Jon Meacham, Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, whom I don’t recall before speaking up against or in favor of one or another politician, they’ve taken sides. Is their speaking up and out appropriate?

Even in the old days editorializing happened, if subtly, by the stories covered and those given no air time. Today if we tune into MSNBC or FOX we get an unrealistic analysis, a security blanket of analysis or finger-pointing that affirms what most of their viewers already think. On air personalities on both reflect their own realities.

Is character so bad a trait for a politician? Does this kind of coverage encourage extreme behavior by politicians? Can we expect nonpartisan news in our futures? If so, what will it take to revert?  Was news really impartial in the day?

Photo: orlandoweekly.com

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