Monday, May 5, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards and Truth Telling

Whoever becomes President should appoint Elizabeth Edwards Secretary of Truth Telling. She has a knack for honesty. Sometimes that gets her in a bit of hot water, but, thankfully, she is undeterred. It's one of the things I most admire about her. Today, in the New York Times, she has an op-ed, Bowling 1, Health Care 0, that even she could not have published while John was still in the race. In it, she takes the media to task for the focus on nonsensical but sensational aspects of the campaign for President and challenges all of us to continually speak into the ear of the mainstream press, demanding information about what they choose to ignore. The editorial is on point and timely. Unless we're picking a bowling team, a deacon or a hairdresser, the issues the press has chosen to focus on don't really help us much. But, if we want that to change, we have to demand it. Here's a portion:

The problem today unfortunately is that voters who take their responsibility to be informed seriously enough to search out information about the candidates are finding it harder and harder to do so, particularly if they do not have access to the Internet. Did you, for example, ever know a single fact about Joe Biden’s health care plan? Anything at all? But let me guess, you know Barack Obama’s bowling score. We are choosing a president, the next leader of the free world. We are not buying soap, and we are not choosing a court clerk with primarily administrative duties.


Tina said...

I emailed CNN with just that complaint. More about the issues, please.
Less hyperbole and less trivia, please, and certainly less hubris.
One would think some of those guys were running for president themselves.

Amy Morton said...

Tonight, I actually heard Chuck Todd-a jounalist-on Hardball-say something close to "as we have all been telling Hillary Clinton, if she is the nominee, she has to offer the VP slot to Obama. So, now the media talking heads are directly advising candidates? I thought it was an amazing freudian slip.

Tina said...

I am also tired of the endless "demographic" analysis--all the talk of gender, ethnic identification, color of one's collar and, yes, one's skin. It's as if the pundits think that voters have no free will and no minds of their own. Voters are smarter than that; voters are more complex than that; and voters, not pundits, will determine the outcome. The great American electorate is slow to move, but when it moves, it can roll over whatever is in front of it like a juggernaut. Personally I think the great American electorate is ready for a change and whichever candidate gets to debate McCain will make him look like the Ghost of Christmas Past.