Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hey - Don't We All Want a "Deferential" Media?

The McCain campaign has decided to keep Sarah Palin away from reporters and other agents of the media who will not treat her with the proper "deference." As important as it is to treat the possible future leader of the free world with the proper veneration, shying away from any unpleasant or impolite questions about difficult topics or her questionable past actions, we present the following guide for journalists who may find themselves in the path of this possible future Vice President, the heartthrob a "heartbeat away" from the Presidency:

. . . The problem of gotcha journalism has recently become so pronounced that, now, it’s being engaged in not merely by journalists, but also by voters themselves (though, we should note, we have yet to see any convincing proof that such “members of the electorate” are, in fact, concerned citizens, rather than self-interested partisans and/or individual organs of the liberal media elite out to spread their socialist agenda to freedom-loving Americans). Take, for example, the Temple University grad student who, while waiting in line for a Philly cheese steak on Monday and finding himself face-to-face with Sarah Palin, asked her about Pakistan. (“How about the Pakistan situation?” the sweatshirt-swathed scamp demanded. “What are your thoughts about that?”) Which is shameful. Just shameful. His lips may have said, “Pakistan,” but his eyes said, “Gotcha.”

Where is the deference, Random Grad Student? Sarah Palin has done nothing but volunteer to serve the nation—our nation—by being A Heartbeat Away From The Presidency; how dare you ask her about the situation in some foreign country? Have you left no sense of decency?

This behavior simply cannot continue. The audacity we’ve seen in our media of late—Katie Couric, as you may have heard, recently had the temerity to ask Palin about the economy—is becoming a disgrace to the profession, and an insult to all Americans. Those who care about journalism and its future must unite against such misbegotten attempts to inform the electorate.


CJR’s new software guards against gotcha-ism (Megan Garber for Columbia Journalism Review)

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