When Presidents Blame The Messengers
I’m a news junkie of sorts. I still grab my newspaper off my driveway at five in the morning and hustle back to the dining room table with anticipation and a full cup of coffee.
I watch local news, national news and all the news that falls in between. I listen to AM radio, public radio, and all-talk radio.
Being a news junkie also makes me a cynic and somewhat of a pessimist. I suppose that is the byproduct of being a journalist (a one time reporter, now a high school journalism teacher).
So, of course, I watched the President’s State of the Union Address, and now that a safe number of days have gone by and everyone has fully dissected, analyzed, and explained President Obama’s speech, it’s probably safe for me to weigh in.
While others went down the obvious laundry list of key points from the President's speech, I stayed stuck on one little itty part:
“Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions -– our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government –- still reflect these same values… The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away. No wonder there's so much cynicism out there. No wonder there's so much disappointment.”
Presidents and politicians throughout the ages often lash out at the media when things don’t unfold as well as expected. It doesn't matter which side of the political aisle you sit on for that one. No sirree, Missy.
In probably one of the most famous harangues against the media, former Vice President Spiro Agnew characterized the media as “nattering nabobs of negativism” and believed that a “narrow and distorted picture of America often emerges from television.”Continued on the next page