Friday, October 10, 2008

Journalism at its best

There's an election in 25 days, one which is potentially as important as any in my lifetime. The new president will have to shovel this country out of the piles of manure deposited by the current administration, try to restore our place in the world despite our every attempt to tear it down, try to deal with a financial crisis that threatens the well-being of millions of people. Many of us think that the long decline has begun, and we fear that no one will take the place of the United States in the good things we've tried to do.

There's a two-front war that we're not sure how to handle, but no solution seems to offer the golden age of democracy in the Middle East that we were promised. We have no response except supine submissiveness to the rise of China and India, indeed we grant them increasing amounts of leverage over our future.

No one except the fanatical doubts that we're headed for a recession; the discussion is whether it could broaden into a world-wide depression, one that could seriously crush the expectations of Americans (particularly those approaching retirement) and lead to global political realignment.

One of the candidates for the most powerful job in the world has run a dishonest, pathetic campaign in which his last-ditch desperation to get the job he feels he deserves is driving him to work his supporters into a racist frenzy. His choice for his successor is a frightening liar who substitutes demagoguery for knowledge.

With all this going on, one would expect the flagship news magazine on one of the major American television networks to focus its resources and its intensity on one or more of these problems. If you want to see a global news organization in action, tune in 20/20 tonight...

and you'll get to enjoy Barbara Walters' (and keep in mind that Walters is one of the pioneers in broadcast journalism) interview with the husband of a has-been model who cheated on her, and you'll be the first person to see the new video by Britney Spears, another washed-up musical "star."

Good work, ABC, way to keep your eye on the prize. Peabodys all around!

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