Jeff Flom | April 29, 2003
Anybody think that the media is too powerful. In political science circles it is referred to as the fourth branch of government. How much of what we see is news?
One television event that stuck out in my mind is when the father of that little girl that was kidnapped in Salt Lake (she was recently found) went on T.V. to defend himself. This was the time when the media found out that the prime police suspect was a convicted child molester. The father came out and said he had no idea the man was a child molester and that had he known he would never have hired him and so on. Why must this man explain himself in any fashion to the American public? What right does the American public have to judge him?
If you ask me this country has a big problem with media.
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this as well as anything you've seen on the news, people being persecuted etc.

Scott Hardie | April 29, 2003
As someone who doesn't watch television news except briefly in passing, I'm not really qualified to say. I get sick of its conventions. Is there some kind of law that every channel must have an anchoring team of one black man and one white woman? And what's with ACtion news? Here in Tampa, Channel 28 has ACtion news, with the slogan "taking ACtion for you," even ACtion weather. I keep expecting to see explosions and gunfire when I tune in, except that of course I don't tune in. :-)

If we're going to say that television news has a problem, I submit that the emphasis on ratings is the problem, in that it distorts the facts in favor of the message. Look at Fox News Channel: Sure Rupert Murdoch's patriotism has something to do with the channel's "U.S.A.!! U.S.A.!! U.S.A.!!" flagwaving, but it has much more do with ratings. They're widening their lead. People prefer soft news to hard news because, of course, it's easier to watch. Too bad those of us who like hard news are mostly left out in the cold. I guess there's always Robert MacNeil. And you can go online for info straight from Reuters and the AP.


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