Politics & Pop culture

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shame on abc

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I happened to catch a few minutes of the Democratic Presidential Primary Debates on ABC last week as I ate dinner before disappearing into the school library. I happened to see the only relevant question of the night, which had to do with capital gains tax, but even that was delivered and managed badly by the news anchors and the candidates. It is so unfortunate to see that the ABC news anchors threw away an opportunity to find out more about the two candidates’ stance and plans on critical issues. (Read Frank Rich’s NY Times op-ed.)

The reason why Senators Clinton and Obama gave speeches and use their press corp on topics like sniper fire and Reverend Wright, is so that the public can reflect on their responses. Both Senators have addressed some of the issues for which they have come under fire. (I am not defending their responses, just saying that there has been ample coverage of these topics.) I am also not excusing the campaigns of either Senator or their campaigns, because they have made significant mistakes and missteps throughout this entire primary season.

However, in my opinion, the Democratic Primary Presidential Debate was supposed to be a forum for the two candidates to explain their positions on pressing policy issues. Which ones you ask? How are: the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the crumbling economy, the state of education in the US, growing inequality, how NAFTA could be changed to benefit US workers, just to name a few [issues].

As I watched clips of the debates after the fact, the gaffe by Charlie Gibson about choosing one another as a running mate, was first, not a question and second, such a waste of time, and made for a truly awkward television moment. (I have to credit Jon Stewart on the Daily Show for highlighting that fact.)

Overall, the lack of journalistic integrity throughout this whole primary season has been disappointing. I think what is sad, is that ABC and other networks actually might think that “asking the tough questions” translates to asking awkward or irrelevant questions.

I can’t say it enough, isn’t it time for some serious journalism? Why aren’t reporters asking about climate change, about what the Iraq Withdrawal means for Iraqis and US citizens alike and for the entire Middle East Region, what about our biofuels policy and the current food shortages? I could go on, but for those of you who are tuned into the real issues of the day, and not the irrelevant and unfortunate ones, know that this list should and is much longer. (TV journalists – aren’t you sick of saying the same thing all the time?)

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Written by Veena

April 21, 2008 at 3:27 am

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