I’m sitting in a 16ft box truck doing a promotion for Pepsi. I sit listening to NPR, usually my favorite station to listen to for news information. I’ve been extremely aggravated by the lack of media attention to lesser known candidates. For me specifically there is Ron Paul, but there are others like him who I appreciate just as much. Others like Dennis Kucinich or Duncan Hunter. It seems like these guys actually care and have a reputable voting record for supporting not only the American people but our Constitution.
Media attention should not be the end all be all of hearing from the politics and in the current case the presidential candidates, but inevitably they are the final say on who leads and why. This is not only an abomination but a disservice to the American people.
This is what I see happening that it seems like many people do not see: There are many candidates for President. There always has been. There always has been more than one party. With the advent of the media, specifically conglomerate-owned mega corporate media outlets like NBC, FOX, ABC, CNN. With all these three-letter abbreviated networks, we have anchors, reporters, and correspondents. They’re all journalists. A quote from the Handbook of Independent Journalism states, “Journalists are not mere transmission belts for their own viewpoints or for information provided by others. They do original reporting, they do not confuse fact with opinion or rumor, and they make sound editorial decisions.” This means that no matter how much they may hate someone or dislike their opinion or object to their actions, they must conduct such interviews with ethical and a sort of quizzical mindset.
Two recent actions of separate networks have caused me to doubt that I as a viewer have any power as a citizen to promote my viewpoints as they do theirs. In detail, there was a presidential debate on FOX that included Ron Paul. There was also a previous debate held by the same network that rebuked him and forbade him to appear. The out lash of the general public caused the network to amend their mistake and show him in the next debate. This time however they made it clear that they as a network do not take him very seriously. The questions given to him were absurd and related not at all to current events or the presidency. Questions like, “Your elect-ability. Do you have any, sir?” when other candidates were asked questions relating to the current war in Iraq, domestic economy, etc. These tactics to make him less appealing to the general public is appalling and quite frankly, disgusting. No matter how much a journalist doesn’t like a candidate, it’s not their job to present their opinions or openly present misleading information. The executive editor of the American newspaper the Washington Post, Leonard Downie, took the concept of objectivity so seriously that he refused to register to vote.
Also much to my chagrin, NPR and ABC have resorted to such tactics. John Stossel of ABC conducted an interview with Ron Paul and it never aired. It did however appear on the internet, but only because Ron Paul has a vast following of internet supporters. This makes complete unethical sense as the goal would be to inform others who aren’t his devoted supporters. The ethical job would be to present the interview to the general public to let them decide.
NPR never mentions Ron Paul on air. They consistently speak of Fred Thompson, who polling last below Paul as a ‘possibl’ contender. This my friends is laughable. I’m disgusted right now with the state of our union. Ideas of honor, loyalty, patriotism, freedom, and democracy are out the window. I yearn for the day I can call one man or woman in our elected government “honorable.”
Anyway, speaking of honor, I have yet to understand why the media has labeled John McCain as a war hero of the Vietnam war. His father was an admiral, and he was a prisoner of war released without the torture that similar other prisoners received while held captive. Show me the proof of his valor and I will relinquish my protestation. Until then, let’s get some ethical reporting and continue hiding candidates we don’t like.