Comes a time to man the barricades.
To start a revolution.
Comes a time…
It's time to mount a major insurrection on television news. In particular, the time has come to do something about television news interviewing.
I tuned into television news this morning. What I saw was awful. A television journalist was interviewing a White House flak. She asked a question. The flak “answered” by artlessly saying he didn’t intend to revisit the past. Then he launched unimpeded into his list of talking points about what his agency wants to do for middle class Americans. And, also artlessly, she went on to the next subject.
He got away with murder. She should have made him take out an ad.
Conservatives consider this particular journalist detestably liberal. And the flak was, of course, a member of the detestably liberal White House. This problem knows neither ideology nor party persuasion.
It is simply a dangerous artifact of journalism in our times. As one of the folks I spoke to this morning said, “I fear we are dangerously close to a tipping point.”
And, we are.
Here’s the movement I want to start. Every time you see a television journalist ask a question and the flak (or the senator or the president) not respond directly to the question but instead launch into the talking points of his agenda, and every time the television reporter doesn’t follow up on the original question, doesn't hold his or her feet to the fire – click.
I don’t know how to make a revolution from this. I don’t know how to spread the word. But I would love to see this click-to-the-next-channel revolution take hold. Because if we don’t do something quickly, the forces of silliness are certainly going to win.