Friday, April 18, 2008

Diminishing Democracy

"Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, though a bit more extreme and really more transparent... in just how vapid they are, were really doing what the establishment media does pretty much without exception, in terms of how it covers our political culture."
Glenn Greenwald, interviewed on Democracy Now! by Amy Goodman:

From the transcript:

Now, leave aside the question as to whether or not journalists holding themselves out as political journalists have an obligation to focus on the more substantive matters, independent of what they can do in order to generate as high ratings as possible, even if you assume that political journalism ought to simply feed the public whatever the public wants, there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the American public is more interested in Barack Obama’s bowling score or whether he wears a lapel pin than they are in how our political leaders are going to address the grave economic insecurity that the country faces or extricate ourselves from the debacle in Iraq that’s becoming increasingly savage and brutal without any end in sight. This is a fiction, an invention on the part of political journalists to justify their never-ending coverage of trash.

And in fact there’s much evidence to suggest—and you can ask any political elected official—that when they go back to their district, what they hear continuously are grave complaints from their constituents and others about just how ridiculous and inane political coverage is and how dominated it is by matters that have nothing to do with their lives and with the problems that they face. And these journalists believe that they’re sort of spokespeople for the people in the heartland and speak for them and patronizingly say that they’re interested in these insipid issues and that’s why they’re covered. The reality is there’s no connection between the establishment journalistic class and the people whom they claim to represent, and the reason they cover those issues is because they, the journalists, want to cover them, not because the people want to hear them.

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