Cable news wallows in minutiae; nation suffers

Barack Obama and John McCain both held large events Tuesday to talk about our nation’s faltering economy and how they’d fix it. I’m glad McCain finally got the memo after his Monday boneheaded remark that the “fundamentals remain strong.” However, that creator of the 24-hour news cycle, CNN, chose to cover the process and the politics of the events instead of the plans presented by the candidates.

On CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tuesday evening, the full analysis of McCain’s plan amounted to a guffawed mention that McCain had, the day before, suggested a blue ribbon panel to study the issue. He didn’t mention that idea again on Tuesday. Apparently it didn’t go over very well “outside the beltway” — plus Obama made fun of him for it, saying we know what happened and just need the leadership to fix it, not another panel. Har har har, isn’t that funny? Right? Get it?

So let’s get this straight. Two banking giants go belly up and the men vying to become the next leader of the free world hold events where they present ideas about how to fix it, and … the real story is what “plays” outside the beltway? Really? The economy’s in turmoil and they cover the process?!

Unfortunately, too often this is the norm for political reporting in America, where balance and process matter more than the truth and an in-depth analysis of the issues. Ugh.

We deserve better.

UPDATE: OMG, CNN is still talking about McCain’s dropping the commission idea. Could we please get some news coverage here? How about some information on what he does plan to do instead of the commission? I’d really appreciate at least a little bit of that from you good-looking talking heads.

Colorado Independent’s blogumnist (blogger-columnist) Jeff Bridges has worked in Democratic politics for the last 10 years, serving as communications director for two congressional races in Colorado and two governor’s races in the Deep South. Bridges also worked as a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C., with a focus on military and small business issues.

Read Jeff’s latest commentaries.

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Jeff Bridges

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