Friday, April 27, 2012

Politics & News Gone High School

I'm sorry, but I have to do it. I have to indulge in a rant. This has been on my mind for quite some time, and I just have to finally get it off. I seriously wonder how a lot of what is on the news qualifies as such. Just as I wonder how politicians determine what is worthy to politic about. Honestly, it drives me mad and seriously makes me question our leaders, journalists, and citizenship.

Getting ready for work this morning I had the news on in the background. I had to do a double take when I heard the anchor state that there was a recent poll done on our two presidential candidates' cool factor. Really? This is considered newsworthy? Reporting that one candidate is considered cooler than the other? Now, I can insert my own importance for this statement, but the anchor was unable to do so sufficiently for me. It is this kind of reporting that turns people off from watching the news, from valuing the news.

But wait! It gets better because the follow up story was how Governor Romney's campaign was focusing on President Obama's cool factor and that Carl Rove was making this something that voters need to be gravely concerned about. Really? Do we not need to hear our presidential candidates focus on something else a bit more pressing? Like, I don't know...perhaps the fact that US children in poverty is above 25% (highest ever)? How about the fact that there are millions of people who are still not allowed to marry in our country? Or the fact that there's a faction of people sneakily trying to strip away women's rights? Not to mention all of the international concerns...nope. I guess we should be concerned about which candidate has a better cool factor. It's this type of politicking that keeps people at home on voting day.

Personally, the last thing I want to hear my potential and current elected officials do is act like they are in high school. Because that's what I picture when something like this occurs ... two people standing off in a hallway slinging slander at each other, just calling each other names. And then the rest of the school spreading a rumor about the unkind things that we're said between the parties involved. Shame on our politicians for doing anything but focusing on the issues or their oponent's track record. And shame on reporters, journalists, and news stations for giving them attention for engaging in negative behavior. It's because of this negative attention that politicians continue to engage in it. We need to expect and demand more from them.