Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Journalistic hindquarter covering

Richard Cohen, journalists should do their jobs.

Yes, I know. Obama didn't go all nasty on people on interviews. He - gasp! - said that if you want to ask tough questions about Palin's readiness, you should ask Palin or McCain.

And you should.

There seems to be some kind of idiotic meme going around journalism that journalists can't ask tough questions or raise sticky issues unless someone else does it for them. Like, you can't report that Sarah Palin doesn't have the chops to be a good President (and thus, shouldn't be VP), and heaven knows you can't pressure the McCain campaign on something so obvious, but you can ask Obama to make the claim, and take the heat off of you.

And I'm sorry, but that's the job of journalists... to seek out and report news, not to try to play a game of "let's you and him fight, 'cause it's good for ratings".

Look: Obama understands something that not a whole bunch of people in this country get.

What's killing us is partisan hatred. The constant battering of one party against another, constantly vying for power and advantage. There's never a thought about doing what's right for the country, because both parties are constantly struggling to maintain influence.

And here's the thing: as they both spend all of their time struggling to maintain their influence, is there ever a time when it's going to end? Unless one party overwhelmingly defeats the other, to the point that the other party has no influence whatsoever - not even with the news media - it won't end, unless people stop it.

Obama wants to stop it.

Not the bitter campaign battles; they've always been with us, and they always will be. No, he wants to stop the senseless, constant battling that keeps anything from being done. He wants to show there's a better way to run our country, where we can accomplish great things, because we won't have the two major parties constantly trying to stab each other in the back.

So, Mr. Cohen, if you want to expose something truly nasty, like Sarah Palin's lack of readiness, maybe you should do your job and expose it on your own, rather than egging folks on, hoping for a good, bloody fight.

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