Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DISTORTION

If you had actually watched President Obama's town hall meeting on the economy yesterday, you would have come away with a very different impression than if you had simply watched the news reports. The latter focused almost exclusively on the questions, many of which came from people who were genuinely--and understandably--disappointed in the administration's progress in solving the country's economic problems, especially unemployment. Pundits, in addition to news reporters, pounced on these questions as evidence of the President's political problems.

What all these people ignored, however, were the answers. I'm convinced that anyone who followed the session, as I did, would have been as impressed as I was by the way in which Obama answered every question thrown at him. He handled them with grace, understanding, empathy, and a wealth of facts and knowledge--a truly impressive performance. He did not skirt issues, but answered difficult questions frankly, with acknowledgement of his own frustration with the intractability of the problems and his failure to address them with greater speed. He came across as the reasonable, practical, fair-minded man I voted for, whose intelligence and thoughtfulness are needed more, in today's political circumstance, than all the nonsense that passes for political discourse.

It's in this way that the "news" is distorted on its way between the source and the listening public. No wonder people are responding as they do to the comedian Jon Stewart's plea for a return to sanity and reason. It takes a satirist to talk common sense. Who'll join me on the Mall, October 30th?

2 comments:

TaraDharma said...

Were it not for my financial situation, I would love to join you on the Mall on Oct. 30. Sadly, lack of finances will cause a lot of middle class folks to opt out. I suspect it is going to be a hilarious and profound event!

Richard said...

I have to say I'm regularly disappointed by news coverage of anything. The recent coverage in the media of the financial crisis versus the quality of some of the Internet coverage is a case in point.

And yes, the only person with a license to tell the whole truth is and always has been a Comedian!