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Thank you Meet the Facts!! This is long overdue.
Journalism has undergone a sea change from the days when making the effort to dig for facts was its primary goal. Now with few exceptions, the apparent goal of journalism besides entertainment and staying close to (read ‘not challenging’) those in power – is to present 'all sides' of an issue even when some of the sides are widely known to be obvious misrepresentations… in plain terms, blatant lies. The field of journalism has apparently entered an era when journalists substitute ‘truthiness’ for the kind of commitment and hard work that good journalism requires.
Experimental research shows that when presented with information in this way - factual and non-factual information (in other words, lies) presented as equivalent to one another, people’s views are swayed towards the lie. It’s because human beings tend to ‘average’ information and come up with a composite that is an average of all the information. Is it any wonder that this journalistic lack of responsibility has promoted the disintegration of political debate to the level of inflammatory, violent rhetoric and maps with rifle-scope crosshairs marking Congressional offices?
This lack of rigor - this work-shy, apathetic approach to journalism – not only serves to increase divisiveness among the body politic it weakens the credibility of the fourth estate and hastens its inexorable descent into irrelevancy.
Let's be honest, the fact that David Gregory sees cosmetic alterations to the television set of Meet the Press as symbolic of his 'era' says a great deal about his superficiality. His unwillingness to perform even minimal due diligence and preparation on topics and guests stands in sharp contrast to the effort Tim Russert put into his programs. (Good God! He died at his desk preparing for one of the shows!) Russert would have deemed Gregory’s special brand of indolence in shirking his journalistic responsibilities so "people …(are forced to) fact-check Meet the Press every Sunday on their own terms” to be unforgiveable.
If you’ll excuse my liberal adaptation of the immortal words of Lloyd Bentsen as he confronted Dan Quayle pretending to a gravitas far beyond his capacity when he compared himself to John Kennedy ... "David Gregory, we knew Tim Russert … and you're no Tim Russert!"