So yesterday's blog entry seems to have struck a chord with people and I'm really glad about that. I've loved every one's emails and responses about being an "insider." Of course, that kind of puts the pressure on me for today's blog entry. I'll try not to buckle under the stress of your high expectations, but I make no promises...which brings me to today's topic of politics.
I suppose for the sake of moving up the Google ladder (and because it's Sunday and George is on on Sunday) I should mention George Stephanopoulos again. It was my goal this morning to come away from his show, This Week, learning something I didn't know before I sat down to watch it.
While you know I love me my George Stephanopoulos, I was not successful in this desire. The big headliner, our Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, just didn't answer the questions. Any of them. From where I sat, he didn't even look like he was trying to answer the questions. And if you read my blog last Sunday about substantive discourse, you know that makes me CRAZY!!!
Part of why it makes me crazy is that when someone doesn't answer the question they're being asked, it looks like they are lying or covering up something. And while I want to believe that Tim is a swell guy just trying to do good, I can't believe that when he's circumventing questions with a quivering voice. And also, just for the record, even if he's the most qualified guy for the job (which I don't know that he is), the appearance of impropriety should have prevented him from accepting it. Even if it was an honest mistake, I have a hard time believing that someone who didn't pay all his taxes is completely on the up and up. And that makes it harder for me to believe anything that he says, and I'm on the same team!!!
So George Stephanopoulos, if you're reading this, (and I know it's possible that you are), could you do me a favor please? If someone you're interviewing is blatantly avoiding the questions you're asking, could you at least throw in an occasional, "I can see that you don't want to answer the question" comment just so the viewers at home can know that it's not okay with you either?!! I would really appreciate that. Plus, if everyone started doing that, maybe we'd start receiving legitimate answers to our questions. Wouldn't that be nice?
Why is Jon Stewart calling more people on their stuff than network journalists? (And I don't just mean George Stephanopoulos, it's everyone.) Why do I feel like I'm getting a straighter answer when Bill Maher is asking the question? It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.
So here's what I think we all need to do: demand more. No one would be selling us a bill of goods that we weren't willing to buy. In the climate of change that we all want to embrace, let's be responsible citizens and viewers and demand something more...of ourselves and of the people who represent us and report to us.
There is a responsibility that reporters have to journalistic integrity and that public servants have to the people that they are supposed to be serving, but we have been lax about insisting they live up to it. I for one am speaking up now. I want to know something more at the end of a news broadcast than I knew at the beginning, and I don't really care who gets uncomfortable in the process. No one's job responsibilities on either end of that equation are to be comfortable. However, they do include getting to the truth and being forthcoming. So that's what I'm expecting.
How about you?
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