As the Obama administration comes closer to serving its first 100 days, there seems to be a difference in coverage between print and televised media. A quick glance at Time, the BBC and the Washington Post shows a media that’s looking at the actions and policies of the Obama administration, offering the critical reporting that we all truly need to make informed decisions.
But those stories seem to disappear when people go to CNN or other televised outlets for their daily news. Instead of seeing stories on President Obama’s trip to Iraq, there are stories about what Obama put on the Queen of England’s iPod and pundits questioning if he will get re-elected in 2012.
As someone who voted for Obama, I think CNN’s treatment of him so far is disgusting. If they’re not running puff-pieces on him, making him seem more like a celebrity than a politician, they’re questioning if he’s doing enough to get re-elected in 2012. Of course, since they’re too busy reminding us all that he’s been on “Leno” and filled out a March Madness bracket, they have little time to inform us about the real things he’s doing. This creates a false sense of inaction.
These types of stories are absurd and do a disservice to the American people. It’s reminiscent of the petty high-school drama that makes reality TV shows seem so juvenile. What’s scary is that it’s also reminiscent of the media’s coverage of the Bush administration back in 2003. With the country on the brink of war, when we most needed a critical media that wasn’t afraid to take a stand and ask the tough questions, the mainstream media instead chose to step aside, assuming that the Bush administration knew what they were doing. And we all know how that turned out.
While the country may not be on the brink of another war, we are facing an economic crisis that’s spanning the globe. Obama’s proposed stimulus package is a policy that needs to be handled critically yet fairly, both of which CNN is failing to do. The only channel that seems to be questioning it is FOXNews, but their brand of yellow journalism is the opposite of fair, and equally as damaging.
The saddest part about all of this is that comedians like Stephen Colbert often run skits that look to 2012 to see who will be running for president under the Republican ticket. The absurdity of these stories is blatantly obvious, yet someone at CNN must have seen this skit and mistaken it for an actual news story that needed to be covered. The fact that CNN and Colbert are reporting on similar stories speaks volumes on the credibility of televised journalism.
If I turn on CNN and see one more story about the re-electability of Obama in 2012, or his feelings on the next big sporting event, I’m boycotting the station, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Let’s let them know that we want them to focus on what Obama is doing now, instead of speculating on what might happen four years from now.