How do you feel about the political coverage in the United States? How do you feel about the topics that are discussed? Do you feel like they’re the topics and issues that really matter? And of said topics, do you feel as though they are covered adequately enough? As someone who doesn’t buy into the “red versus blue” mentality of current U.S. politics, I find our political coverage lacking.
Every day, it’s the same old thing – Republicans want to lower taxes, while digging us deeper in debt by funding the military-industrial-complex, while Democrats want to increase government-sponsored programs, while creating dependency on a system that ultimately cannot be sustained. That’s been the narrative for at least the past 15 years, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.
The truth is that political news in this country, whether you catch it from NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, NPR, Democracy Now, or any host of other organizations, is broken. We see the same topics covered in the same way, time and time again. The news organizations seem content to play ball with American politicians in order to maintain their ability to get interviews, while leaving the important questions on the economy, healthcare, and foreign policy on the back burner.
What ever happened to discussion? What ever happened to intellectual discourse? Have we become so entrenched by 30-second sound bytes and fast-food media that we no longer have the attention span to sit through an adult conversation about topics that need addressing? Or worse yet, are we so content with a-la-carte 24-hour news that we’ve become complacent? Are we satisfied with the display of political theatre?
If you’ve been watching the debates, you may have noticed a trend – fact checking is almost non-existent, candidates’ responses are limited to mere minutes, and the questions posed are the same old cookie-cutter questions that the politicians have rehearsed their lines for as though our government is some high school theatrical production.
And where are the other Presidential candidates? There are at least two other candidates in this election with major backing that the American people simply aren’t being told about. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party, and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green party both have a large following, and yet are excluded from the debates while America is subjected to the same old song and dance.
If you’re interested in hearing political coverage with substance, and if you’re tired of the way our news media plays into the game the politicians like to play, you may be interested to know that there’s a new organization gathering steam called DecodeDC by Andrea Seabrook, formerly of NPR.
From their website:
“DecodeDC is for smart, engaged, and busy people like you. Through the podcast and blog, DecodeDC will decipher Washington’s Byzantine language and procedure, sweeping away what doesn’t matter so you can focus on what does.”
If you’re interested in getting the meat of the story, without all the newspeak, this sort of thing might just be what you’re looking for. I came across the project via their Kickstarter page, and I’ve been following their operation closely. While what they are doing may not make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, it’s certainly interesting and a breath of fresh air from the stale coverage and “analysis” we receive from our current system.
DecodeDC currently has three episodes available for listening with more on the way.
If it’s your thing to watch the political merry-go-round, and to give eyeballs to advertisers who line the pockets of a news media whose only goal is to provide empty coverage that keeps you just engaged enough not to change the channel, but not so engaged to where you actually ask questions, that’s fine. Do your thing. Keep up the good work.
If, however, you’re looking for something else to chew on, you’d be doing yourself a favor by checking out some new resources.