I received an update email from NBC Nightly News with this promo about tonight's broadcast:
How well does Illinois Senator Barack Obama get along with his chief rival for the Democratic nomination for President? It's one of the questions Brian Williams asked Obama today in a one-on-one interview.
This is what NBC felt was the most noteworthy question to highlight about a major presidential candidate? Whether the candidates like each other? What does he expect Obama to say? I swear everyone is looking for "dirt" rather than discussing issues of any importance. Earlier I saw a report where people were trying to say that Michelle Obama was taking a crack at Hilary. Everyone wants a cat fight and that is all politics seems to be lately. John Edwards is trying to raise the profile and discussion about poverty and all you can find is coverage of Elizabeth Edwards and Ann Coulter.
Are the American people that shallow that all we want is to hear about $500 haircuts and debate whether Barrack is too "feminine" and Hiliary is too "masculine"? Or is the mainstream media just pandering to the lowest common denominator and trying for ratings?
We are supposed to be having a national conversation about where this country is going and what do we see on the news? Fluff and nothing important. Who likes who and who said what about who and who said something about nothing important. Now I will admit that my eyes glaze over when I hear candidates going on about specific "plans" especially when you realize that by the time the plan is implemented it will not look anything like what is proposed (any other Virginians get a kick out of how Jim Gilmore basically won the governorship by promising to get rid of the car tax? I do…every time that I send in my car tax payment). But I do want to hear about what a candidate feels are important issues and where they want to take us and why. Call me idealistic, but I want a candidate who believes what they say, whether it is popular or not.
It just bugs me when there are so many more important things to discuss (like how the Bush administration has drastically changed the balance of power in our system of checks and balances in ways that are extremely scary) how the mainstream media goes running after the latest distraction (Oooh! Look! Something shiny! Maybe it will help ratings!).
I find that I can hardly stomach mainstream national news ever since the awful sensationalism of the Va Tech shootings. If I hear about something I want to know more about, I try to check it out on NPR. And thank goodness for Bill Moyers on PBS. At least there is some place that I can hear a news program with some substance and things that make me think and question. That goes beyond sound bites. And that has some heart and integrity.
Bah. I just don't get this society that we live in sometimes.