There is a new disease afoot in the Press. And it should be called thenegative syndrome as political debates and pundits will fill the air until the election.
Today, on September 21, 2012, the Chicago Tribune called the Joe Walsh – Tammy Duckworth debate – “negative.” If Walsh (the dead beatdad) is a liar and specializes in misrepresenting the truth, which seems to be the mantra of “today’s” Republican Party, why is it negative when Tammy Duckworth responds with objective truth. Why is it negative to be objective in a Socratic Debate?
The language the media, or anyone uses, should be used to elicit thought, at least that’s what linguistic experts tell us is the purpose of language. However, when it is used to shape thought, (spin is acceptable which is the norm), and someone points out the lies used to shape thought, must that be, should that be characterized by the media as negative?
When the media does this, and today’s 4th Estate specializes in this approach to appear “nonpartisan,” does this not misrepresent the substance of the debate by allowing any objective and factual response to suffer by being called negative? Does it make sense, or does this approach to deem all objective realities negative help to objectively create informed public opinion? Or does it just allow all the liars to argue the world is flat as well as include any factual rebuttal – factual corrections to the lies being confronted in the moment – in an egalitarian arena of negativity. And this provides a Petri dish to culture public confusion.
Was Edward R. Murrow being negative when he exposed McCarthy – or was he exposing the lies and deceit of a terrible American who used the power of his office to become more powerful by feeding lies to the public paranoia of Communism? Nonpartisan has replaced the concept of unslanted.
Journalists are not supposed to be slanted, which means they are supposed to be objective; and it is far less than objective to allow lies to proliferate in their presence, by not calling out self evident lies to objectively create INFORMED PUBLIC OPINION.
So – he’s negative, she’s negative, the debates are negative; therefore, it would be so partisanly negative to point out that Romney is an inveterate liar? What is it called when yesterday someone was for something that today they are firmly against? What is it called when someone running for the Vice President can’t add up the numbers in his own totally misrepresented “budget”, can’t tell the truth about how fast he does not run, votes against job creation bills at each juncture, and then criticizes the President for not creating jobs?
Does this constitute truth – a person like this is called a liar. So if a member of the media confronts this liar when being interviewed at the moment of the lie, to point out that the interviewee is lying – is that negative? (Or is pointing out the lie in real time to objectively create informed public opinion?) Should headlines incessantly proclaim: Negative Debate, negative partisanship, Congress is dysfunctional – when one side is clearly spewing forth lies.
(This is not an argument that Democrats are perfect – however, there is a preponderance of empirical evidence that Republicans have become the party of lies, and the media is not courageous enough to call out all the lies.)
It is not objective to give both sides a chance to speak when one side is clearly lying. Should the KKK and the American Nazi Party have a seat at the table? Should we care about Charlie Manson’s reasons; about why the T Party prefers to believe in pre Dark Age beliefs, shrouded in the myth of creationism thinking that carbon dating is a conspiracy from Ivy League intellectuals; or allow the myth of supply side trickle down to be espoused by the Republican Presidential nominee to go unchallenged at the moment of the job creator lie?
Should standing up for truth be negative?
E. Henry Schoenberger is the author and publisher of this blog and of How We Got Swindled by Wall Street Godfathers, Greed & Financial Darwinism ~ The 30-Year War Against the American Dream. Foreword by David Satterfield, former business editor of the Miami Herald, and 2 times Pulitzer Prize-winner. Swindled is available in paperback, and eBookexclusively from Amazon.