Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow Helped to Show What Happens When Opinions and Facts Clash

I give major kudos to Rachel Maddow and her staff for getting interviews with all three candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat in Alaska.  If you haven't seen the show, I recommend it, particularly Maddow's interview with sitting Senator Lisa Murkowski.  But the portion of the show that I want to highlight is the portion when Maddow talks with Miller supporters.

Listen to what these folks are saying. The guy that Rachel talked with is clear that Attorney General Eric Holder is the most anti-gun AG we've ever had. "Let's look at his voting record before hand," the guy says, and when Rachel let him know that Eric Holder has never held elective office, it was nothing but "deer in the headlights" for this guy. And then there was the woman who is convinced that the New Black Panther Party is essentially getting special favors because they are black (I would bet the farm, if I had one, that she is a Glenn Beck fan, and drank every syllable of Beck's pronouncement that Obama is a racist and hates white people; the fact that Obama was raised by his white family, whom he loves, of course, doesn't matter).

Folks can call me whatever they want, but what they will never be able to call me truthfully is a low information person. Therein rests the problem that I think is going on way too often on the right, and right wing media and politicians use that low information voter to their advantage (please note that even in the face of the fact that Eric Holder had never voted on a gun issue, that didn't really stop the guy interviewed from feeling what he felt; Eric Holder, and subsequently Barack Obama = bad, regardless of the circumstances).And this is my central problem with an organization like Fox News.

It's one thing to have a bias, but work hard to simply report the news, while maintaining clear lines between news reporting and opinion making. But it is another thing altogether to marry the two; Fox has (mostly) married the two. That does not help its viewers in the long run. Again, say what you will about MSNBC or CNN or NPR, but I am confident their news divisions try to maintain objectivity, while giving its opinion makers space to make their opinions. The Wall Street Journal does an excellent job of this on the right, and I have long been comfortable with the veracity of its news articles, even when I think that their op-ed columnists have lost their minds.  And I can say the same with local Fox affiliates that I've watched both in Washington, DC and down in Hampton Roads, VA.  Yet, the cable station is just something to behold, and I don't mean that in a good way.

The result of all of that Fox and tea party GOP hard work is what Rachel showed the world last night. 

1 comment:

Scott said...

"The greatest argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with an average voter."

--Winston Churchill