Monday, December 06, 2004


The Media: Part of the Problem

Charicatures are not "Experts"

As most of us know, the presidential primary process favors candidates at the more extreme ends of both parties. That's because the party activists, who put in the time, volunteer and are highly motivated tend to be more dogmatic in their ideology than the average voter. So on the left, you get candidates that are more liberal than the average voter and on the right, you get candidates that are generally more conservative than the average voter. After watching a truly horrible week of talking heads, I've come to the conclusion that the media suffers from a similar problem.

Take that terrible show "Crossfire." Typically hosted by James Carvelle, Paul Begala and Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. Last week we had a guest host of the highest caliber, The Reverend Jerry Farwell. It's typical, whether it is a person representing the evangelical community, the black community or what have you, the media puts forward what basically amounts to a caricature of that group. I doubt Mr. Farwell represents the views of the average evangelical Christian, just as I doubt that the interests of the black community are embodied by Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Oh all three of these gentlemen are charismatic and occasionally 'outrageous,' but none of them really present the sometimes complicated and nuanced positions of the groups they are supposedly representing. Rather, they can be relied upon to spew stereotypical rhetoric, making a heartfelt and serious discussion of any issue moot. But of course that makes better television doesn't it?

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