Watch any news broadcast about terrorism and you will hear the cliche “failure to connect the dots”. This phrase is usually associated with a failure of a government agency to link information in its possession to a future terrorist attack. We have become accustomed to hearing this phrase repeated ad nauseum with every new terror incident. The government is not the only entity, which fails to connect the dots. Witness the failures of fourth estate. (the traditional media)
The press has been relied upon as the check on government. It has been referred to as the watchdog of a free society. This watchdog has become the ultimate pet with liberals and conservatives each supporting their own pets. Refer to my prior post. How many conservative or liberal news outlets pursue in depth investigations when, comments are made by “their side”. They seldom if ever pursue an objective investigation of the other side. It is easier to just report what is said even when what is said is simply an obfuscation or contains glaring inaccuracies.
Research uses resources, both human and financial. We live in a twenty four seven news cycle and a market where traditional media is in decline. It is expensive to do research, so we depend on less experienced employees, who spoon feed the “on air talent”.
What is the result of this? No one in the media connects the dots. The viewers see the same tired quotes repeated over and over again throughout the day and in the case of many outlets repeated over and over within the same hour of any given day. Analysts appear and repeat the party talking points, while the facts are never explored.
Witness one Hillary Clinton, who is heard repeating her talking points about never sending emails marked as classified or top secret. The lapdogs play her comments over and over. They parse her words instead of asking simple questions. Is this the type of conduct expected of the most experienced and qualified female attorney in the U.S.? What should be expected from someone with her background and experience? Does it really matter whether her conduct reaches the threshold of criminality, when she is seeking the highest office in the land? The Clintons learned the game long ago. Repeat a line often enough and it becomes tomorrow’s fact.
Meanwhile a plethora of political operatives flood the airwaves masquerading as political analysts and proclaim the depth and breath of Ms Clinton’s experience, yet no one really can cite accomplishments. As a matter of fact, her history is riddled with failure. Her healthcare reform in the nineties was a failure. She failed to understand the will of the voters of that time. Her time in the Senate as a carpetbag New York Senator was unremarkable.
The airwaves are filled with platitudes yet her time as Secretary of State will be known for her failure to protect state secrets not her brilliant foreign policy strategies. Now she talks of her opponent’s temperament. No one explores her character. No one connects the dots. How can the most qualified candidate ever and a brilliant politician be such an abject failure? Why does she always try to have the public judge her conduct by a criminality standard. (If it’s not criminal,then it’s okay?)
Now witness one Donald Trump. The conservative media fawns over his decisiveness and his willingness to fight. Never do they bother to ask, if this is the way an individual seeking the highest office in the land should conduct himself. It doesn’t matter whether his outbursts have any basis in fact. He is permitted to whine about how he is characterized in the media, yet thinks nothing of resorting to calling his opponents names. Truth is not important, as long as the comments are directed at others.
He brings ratings. He threatens defamation suits, never realizing he is a public figure and the standard for defamation is and should be higher. The media doesn’t report the consequences of the changes he says should occur to the standard for defamation even though his proposals would severely limit free speech in political contests. What needs to happen? The dots need to be connected. The public has a right to more than the superficial pablum served up by the media sycophants.
Character assassination is the hallmark of Donald Trump’s campaign, yet no one in the conservative media does any more than report what he says. They would rather photograph an empty podium, then make an investment in researching, whether what he says has any basis in fact. Chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” bring increased audience. Catering to him by referring to him as Mr. Trump is easier than calling him out for his boorish name calling behavior The media never connects the dots. They would rather report on the horse race than give the public information necessary to make an informed decision.
So what are we left with at a crucial time in our nation’s history? A name calling contest. A choice between two unvetted political lightweights. Neither has been truly tested by the fourth estate. So what do I say ” a pox on all of your houses”. Now we can only hope one of these two pretenders steps up and becomes a leader. The country hangs in the balance!