Sunday, September 01, 2013

What's wrong with the media

Jake Tapper explains how he conducts an interview:
Most interviews that I do are not super aggressive. They can’t be, and they shouldn’t be; that would get pretty tiresome. So when there’s an interview that’s tough or a question that’s tough, it’s something that raises eyebrows. It’s not easy to do that in the White House briefing room, at a press conference. That’s never easy. It’s not fun. Because as humans we are built to try to avoid conflict. Society constantly looks down its nose at conflict, even if the media doesn’t. And it’s not a comfortable feeling. It’s absolutely nerve-racking. It’s much easier to be chummy with people in power. It’s much easier to ask softball questions, to not upset the apple cart. And that’s why most people, including me, don’t spend all of their time asking tough questions. But there are times when they are called for, and I think definitely they’re needed in politics, in political journalism.
I actually like Jake. I cut him a lot more slack than most people do because I do think within the parameters of what passes for TV journalism today, he's more willing than most to challenge the GOP perfidy at least some of the time. But he's wrong about this. Aggressive interviews are not tiresome unless they're based on phony memes instead of facts. The traditional mission of the journalist was to engage in conflict. Afflict the comfortable and all that. When he says society "looks down its nose at conflict" he's talking about society inside the Beltway. He's talking about losing access to the insiders by not being invited to the important soirees. Not seeing that as a concern outside the DC bubble.

In my world the people are starving for reliable information on policy. The only thing they're "looking down their nose at" is the media fixation on horserace reporting, false balance and click-baiting. Which sadly, is now the norm in the news business.

[Big thanks to Tengrain for kindly linking in at Mike's Blog Roundup. Tengrain also blogs at of Mock, Paper, Scissors and Dependable Renegade. If you're not reading both, well, you should be.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home