Friday, July 29, 2016

Now, media must focus on issues -- not polls and popularity

Hillary Clinton making history on Thursday night in Philadelphia, where she accepted the Democratic nomination for president after pledging to work to improve the lives of women and everyone else. (Photo credit: UPI)


With just over three months until the Nov. 8 presidential election, readers can only hope the hysterical news media will focus on the issues that affect our lives.

When will The Record and other news outlets start a serious discussion of the candidates' positions on gun control, immigration, climate change, the minimum wage, taxing the wealthy and so many other compelling issues -- and then take a stand?

In the case of the Woodland Park daily and Editor Deirdre Sykes, readers shouldn't hold their breath.

Partisan politics in New Jersey and the nation have been shoved down their throats by Columnists Charles Stile and Herb Jackson for far too many years.

And Columnist Mike Kelly has taken so many pot shots at President Obama readers have to wonder whether the veteran reporter has been infected by the racial animus apparent in the Republicans who gridlock Congress.

Seeing history made 

At least one of The Record's editorial writers -- commenting on Hillary Clinton making history -- had the good sense to admit:

"We are missing an extraordinary moment. We are so caught up in the pettiness of politics and personalities that we are not seeing the history made in Philadelphia, the city where our history began" (A-18).

"...Before Wednesday is another forgotten moment, savor it not as a partisan, but as an American."

Endless politics

On the front page of The Record today, the lead USA Today story on Clinton's speech to the Democratic National Convention is filled with partisan politics, and actually includes a rebuttal from wacko racist Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee (A-1 and A-6).

The stark differences between the candidates have been glossed over.

For example, Trump wants to a tax break that would put an extra $1.3 million in his pocket and in the pocket of every other member of the 1%, but backs an increase in the minimum wage to only $10.

Clinton calls on the wealthy to pay higher taxes to help finance social programs for families and to bolster Social Security. 

Holes in coverage

The Record's story is missing most of Clinton's attacks on Trump as a potential leader, but the New York Port reported she "savaged" the businessman:

"He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with a nuclear weapon," she said of Trump, "mocking her ... rival's claim that he knows more about ISIS than American's military leaders."

The Post also reported that Clinton:
  • "Accused Trump of 'being in the pocket of the gun lobby,' while saying she had no intention of repealing the Second Amendment.
  • "Slammed her opponent for having his clothing line and furnishings for his hotels made in other countries while he talks about bringing jobs back to America.
  • "Said large corporations should pay their 'fair share' of taxes, and not accept tax breaks with one hand while handing out pink slips with the other.
  • "Vowed to support police officers while at the same time reforming the criminal-justice system to rebuild trust between cops and the communities."
A horse race

What will likely happen now that the conventions are over, The Record and other news media will go back to publishing polls that purportedly show the closeness of the White House race.

But you won't see the media reflecting on how their endless coverage of partisan politics and conflict has produced one of the world's most apathetic electorates.

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