No Media Safe Haven for Politicians

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Journalism

Politicians have been using technology to speak directly to the people for around 80 years or so. From FDR’s fireside chats to Obama’s internet interviews, many political figures try to spread their message without the media filtering the information. Now, they are using the current technologies such as facebook, twitter, e-mail, and the vast amount of talk shows. With such a pivotal time of year approaching, some political candidates are not reaping the benefits of these outlets. While these candidates are achieving their goal of avoiding direct contact with reporters, they are hardly creating a good name for themselves. Jack Shafer reported on many of these gaffes in his article on http://www.Slate.com.

I agree with Shafer’s idea that they’re not afraid of the questions journalists may ask, but the answers they might have to respond with. When politicians can stage an interview in a medium that will only offer questions they are prepared to answer they can have much more control over their message. They won’t back themselves into a corner or be forced to admit facts they are hiding. Unfortunately, even if they do find themselves in a situation like that, many politicians would resort to lying. I find the most hysterical part of all this cowardice is the statements some people make even while they are in their safe zones. Comments made by Christine O’ Donnell and Sharron Angle, have really just exposed their ignorance.

No matter what outlet political candidates choose to release their opinions, the media will get their hands on it eventually and expose whatever falsities or contradictions are present. Journalists are not all-knowing nor entitled, but their influence is unavoidable. Bypassing their questions can make matters worse for the candidates whether they realize it or not. Regardless of how the message is made available, the truth will come to the forefront eventually. Not to mention, avoiding the questions voters want to know will only make the public wonder more, while raising doubt in the competency of the candidate. Politicians should just face the trivial issues sooner, rather than later when their credibility is already in question. Then again, that wouldn’t be politics, would it?

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Comments
  1. lew247 says:

    Insightful post.

    When asked a question that they don’t know the answer to or don’t want to answer, I think many politicians:

    1) give an answer that does not answer the question and/or 2) they will make a demagogic political statement that does not answer the question but appears to be related

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