Friday, May 26, 2006

Is The Media Ready to Cover Politics Substantively?

Paul Krugman asks, will America get fooled again? When he says 'we', he means the public and the press. I say, the public voted for Gore in 2000, despite the relentless drubbing he took in the corporate press, including the New York Times. This article really should be aimed squarely for the media. Will the media cover the issues? Or is PR and image everything? Will the media once again cover Karl Rove photo ops as substance, when they are merely showtime?

Paul Krugman, NYTimes: A Test of Our Character (TimesSelect wall)

the concluding grafs:

Why, after all, was Mr. Gore's popular-vote margin in the 2000 election narrow enough that he could be denied the White House? Any account that neglects the determination of some journalists to make him a figure of ridicule misses a key part of the story. Why were those journalists so determined to jeer Mr. Gore? Because of the very qualities that allowed him to realize the importance of global warming, many years before any other major political figure: his earnestness, and his genuine interest in facts, numbers and serious analysis.

And so the 2000 campaign ended up being about the candidates' clothing, their mannerisms, anything but the issues, on which Mr. Gore had a clear advantage (and about which his opponent was clearly both ill informed and dishonest).

I won't join the sudden surge of speculation about whether "An Inconvenient Truth" will make Mr. Gore a presidential contender. But the film does make a powerful case that Mr. Gore is the sort of person who ought to be running the country.

Since 2000, we've seen what happens when people who aren't interested in the facts, who believe what they want to believe, sit in the White House. Osama bin Laden is still at large, Iraq is a mess, New Orleans is a wreck. And, of course, we've done nothing about global warming.

But can the sort of person who would act on global warming get elected? Are we — by which I mean both the public and the press — ready for political leaders who don't pander, who are willing to talk about complicated issues and call for responsible policies? That's a test of national character. I wonder whether we'll pass.

The full article, from Ed Strong.


beervolcano said...

Another Gore lover!
I honestly will never understand you pepole.

truth said...

I am mocked by someone whose screenname is beer volcano. The indignities of blogging.