Sunday, June 6, 2010


I caught part of a local government-oriented television show this morning. Think "This Week," but for a much smaller audience. The guests were a pair of lobbyists for different business interests. At one point the host asked what seemed to be a pretty straightforward question about some changes to the law that the business groups supported. And in return, he received a detailed recitation of a completely irrelevant talking point. He didn't seem to notice.

I figured that one of a few things was going on.

  1. He really didn't notice that the lobbyist hadn't bothered to even pretend to address the question.
  2. The question was a sham, pretty much simply an invitation for a detailed recitation of a talking point.
  3. Pressing the lobbyist on the question would have earned him a reputation as a hostile interviewer, and eventually, he would have found it difficult to book guests.
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list, but these are the ones that occurred to me.

A suspect that 3 is closest to the correct answer, not only in this case, but in other instances as well. And that's something that we'll have to deal with as the public. As long as there are no consequences for blowing off any but the most supportive media outlets, we're going to have what appears to be a press that's subservient and fawning to powerful interests.

No comments: