I’ve seen Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his daughters about Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday night. Maybe he should go back and binge watch his HBO TV series, The Newsroom this weekend and remember what all he had to say in it.
Here’s a few sobering thoughts about the news business that should be considered after Donald Trump’s “surprising victory” in spite of the efforts of the news media to collude against him:
–Maybe we don’t need to have news 24/7 on cable channels. Perhaps needing to fill all hours of the day with advertising and something new to say isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It certainly isn’t easy work to come up with NEWS, so we get mindless, unintelligent babble from hacks with agendas to fill up the space, to say the things that the network wants said, not news.
–Maybe Aaron Sorkin got it right in his HBO series “The Newsroom,” one that was despised by the mainstream news media who scoffed at his call for a return to genuine journalism where the facts are what drive stories, where double- and even triple-source verification is practiced, and where tough questions are asked of those who come on TV shows, not where professional hacks get offered cream puff softballs where they can speculate or drive their own agendas. At the end of the pilot Charlie Skinner, the news director of the fictitious news channel in the series says, “You know how we used to report the news? We just decided to.”
–Maybe there needs to be less reliance on social media in the news business and the pursuit of factual information. Maybe instead of relying so much on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, news agencies should go back to paying JOURNALISTS to gather information. Maybe the model of not paying those who actually went to journalism school and relying on what you can get for free isn’t working out so well after all. Who knew….
–Maybe temporary heads of a political party shouldn’t be a regular contributor, paid or otherwise, unless all ties have been severed. Maybe there should even be a length of time between when a person left a paid position with a political party, campaign, or lobbying group–you know, like a person leaving government can’t come back the next day as a lobbyist. Donna Brazille comes to mind.
–Maybe someone should really weigh the value of the integrity of political polling in this day and age now that most people don’t have landlines and many, many people hang up when they get called, and we step back and do a hard, harsh look at the practice of exit polling as was done after the 2001 debacle in Florida.
–Maybe news agencies should give less credence to claims that “The Russians illegally broke into our servers,” and actually look at the value of the information that’s being presented as fact and then ask for someone who is denying the integrity of a hacked email to produce the original material, unaltered.
–Maybe when a guest ponders “what am I going to tell my children?” the answer is that not everyone in real life gets a trophy just for playing and sometimes there are victories and sometimes there are defeats in life. It’s a good lesson for all children to learn, no matter how old they are.
–Maybe the news business needs to get off the focus group bandwagon and start presenting news to Americans so that the American populace, whom the East Coast elite view as too stupid to make a fair and balanced decision, are allowed to do just that–because they did in this election cycle in spite of all the efforts of the MSM to influence the election.
–Maybe just because you’re good at singing or acting in Hollywood you don’t have the street cred to tell the rest of for whom to vote.
–Maybe news reporting should once again be focused on the facts, not the bent agenda of the editorial department, the publisher, or advertisers.
–Maybe, and just maybe, it’s NOT the job of journalists to decide how Americans should vote. Maybe it’s actually the job of the electorate to decide. (I know, that’s a frightening thought for so many in the news business.)
–Maybe the American people aren’t as stupid as the NE elite think–that maybe jobs, the economy; the ever increasing costs of health care–the rising costs of Obamacare premiums–ones that were promised to stay low; terroristic threats to our country; gay-marriage; maybe those things actually matter to Americans and aren’t something to be dismissed openly by the NE elite.
I’m certain, fairly certain, little is going to change in the news business as a result of Tuesday. Instead of trying to see that things need to change in this industry, there will continue to be the perception that Americans–the ones who voted and turned the map red, that the red voters are the ones who need to change.
The fact is we all need to change. There has to be a coming together as a country. We can not continue to stake out our positions on polar extremes and have the pendulum swing back and forth every eight years and expect for things to improve. The anger over the past eight years came out Tuesday and those who kept calling someone racist, bigot, sexist, and all that other crap got knocked back, though probably not for long.
But wouldn’t it be great if out of all of this, the news media “just decided to” report the news?