Saturday, June 21, 2014
The fall out from Eric Cantor's recent primary loss and current polling on the President's approval rating highlight a real challenge to modern democracy. Everywhere you look there are stories about the things the President is doing wrong (or not at all) and in the lead up to the Virginia Republican primary the coverage at the national level was on how successfully Cantor had led the GOPs charge to stop the President, not how effectively he had represented his own district.
Unsurprisingly (at least to me) polling conducted under those narratives did not return an accurate picture if what is going on. Cantor was soundly defeated because he wasn't looking out for his constituents first, and the President gets hug marks for leading on individual issues as the economy gets haltingly better - or at least no worse. Yet the Main Stream Media (as well as the more partisan outlets like Fox and Huff Post) continue to report on the bad or negative angles only, often using false equivalencies to mask real "right and wrong" differences.
If we as a nation are going to resurrect our dying democracy, I think we need to acknowledge that media narratives matter. Then we need to run the media put of town figuratively until they get back to being honest brokers of information.