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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

TV networks take a stand

The TV networks have announced they do not plan to obey the permissible camera angles fested upon them by the presidential candidates' 32-page memorandum of understanding. One rule had stipulated that the networks would not be allowed to show the reaction of the non-speaking candidate. Another rule had stipulated they couldn't show audience reactions.

"Because of journalistic standards, we're not willing to follow outside restrictions," said Fox News, echoing a statement made by many of the other networks. Such vaulted integrity!

It is easy to forget these are the same networks that refuse to hire fact-checkers or real reporters, consider any idea one of equal merit, drool at the thought of anything sensationalistic but shy away from anything that challenges the privileged and the powerful, played dead as President Bush charged through with his plan to invade Iraq in 2003, and prevent any true campaign finance reform from occurring by refusing to permit free airtime.

When was the last time you saw a detailed television analysis of the comparative merits of national health care vs. private health care, the inner operations of the United Nations or the U.S. Senate, the impact of free trade on the loss of middle class jobs, or the international gun trade?

Oh, but these are journalists with "standards." Right. In actuality, my feeling is that TV today is run by a bunch of quacks who are afraid that if they don't catch that angle of George H.W. Bush glancing at his watch or Al Gore sighing, than there will be nothing for them to talk about after the debate. God forbid they be limited to discussion of the issues.


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