Something weird has happened to the news. Almost every news report has to be followed up or accompanied by some political analyses or discussion. Sure, most news channels try to give “both” of the predominant political ideologies their chance to make their arguments, but every channel has their bias. It’s no secret either; try as stations might to keep it one. To get a grain of truth from any piece of news obtained from the boob tube, you have to hear the same story by at least two different news stations (preferably the two of them having different political ideologies). It’s a pain, and it’s disgusting.
It is like American media corporations heard, at some point, that people are inevitably biased in their fact-finding and investigations, and then decided this was all the necessary justification to go hog wild. Journalism became an arena for political debate, with the original purpose of the news (to report events going on in the world) taking a back seat in favor of providing more convincing political analyses over every individual event for the audience to hear. It is no secret that people will be biased, but last I checked it was a journalist’s responsibility to report the news in the most objective manner humanly possible. Aka: inform the public of what is happening. This responsibility was not treated lightly, and news agencies were not so overtly vociferous of what their overall political beliefs were. To put it plainly, there was a time when reporters and writers at least tried.
Now it feels like media outlets aren’t even trying to be subtle about their political opinions. In fact, entire timeslots are given to self-proclaimed political pundits on both sides of the political playing field. You want conservative banter? Hit up Fox News or The Washington Post. You want liberal chit chat? Try NBC or the New York Times. Hell, in some cases there are even whole radio shows dedicated to political discussion (Limbaugh, anyone?). Why on Earth do people like to indulge in listening in to a bunch of ranting and raving that they already agreed with, especially so much?
What if you are someone like me, someone who doesn’t give a flying fuck about a reporter’s opinion on the news? What if you are someone that values coming to their own decision when given information? I know that I should always be weary for potential bias in any agency’s reports or articles, but I can remember to keep that in mind without having to have information put into political perspective FOR me. Just the whole idea that, “reading an article over the same thing from The Washington Post and The New York Times will somehow give me a ‘truer’ idea over that particular event” is ridiculous. Since when did news agencies feel that they could bear the responsibility of defining my political spectrum for me? In fact, since when was it ever the responsibility of any journalistic business to overtly immerse itself in political discussion? Isn’t that what POLITICIANS are supposed to do?
It is there that I have my biggest realization. Let’s use Glenn Beck as our example here, but remember that liberal outlets are guilty of the same thing. Mr. Beck, with all your criticizing, ranting, raving, discussion, and statements, why don’t you run for Congressional, Senatorial, or Presidential office yourself? What gave you the right to sit down on your own show and blast to the world your opinion and your imperatives for our government? Oh, wait, I know exactly why you won’t run for office: you wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. You know that for any candidate to have a realistic chance at winning an election that you’d have to moderate your viewpoints on the issues…a lot. If you did that, your audience would feel betrayed by you and your only hope of keeping a career would be to win an election that you are very likely going to lose. So, instead, you are comfortable to stick to your chalkboard, always telling our leaders that they are doing a horrible job and then telling them what they should do. Finally, the fact that you had to have a show to showcase your opinion tells me that you think you should guide people into being more critical and vocal about our government, at the very least. Hate to tell you Glenn, but I, yet again, do not give a fuck about your opinion, and it is my job and my job alone to gauge how critical I should be of my government and to keep myself informed of what is going on. Nobody else can do that for me, or any other individual. I don’t need you to remind me of how I should go about this. Just imagine if we all had talk shows where we thought-vomited our political opinions. Nobody would care. At all. It’s a pity that people do care about the few schmucks who do get their own shows, these so-called “experts”, and then proceed to integrate their own opinions with whatever some pundit pukes at them.
To any journalist who values bringing information to the public eye in the most objective manner possible, thank you. Thank you for going out into the places of the world I simply cannot (or will not) and telling me what is happening there. Most of all, thank you for keeping your opinion to yourself and respecting my imperative to come to my own opinions of my own accord.
To all journalists that feel like they need to give political advice and scrutiny to every current event: get over yourself and fuck off. Or just run for office, maybe then you’ll actually have the political experience to rightfully say anything political. Believe it or not, you have not been burdened with the task of being a government watchdog to protect the nation. Though I’m sure you’d really like that burden anyway.