Friday, January 26, 2007

What's Up with Journalist Access to the Floor During State of the Union?

At the same time President Bush was preparing to make his next to last State of the Union address, I was struck by a head cold. Achy sinuses, headache, sore throat. What better way to feel better than by watching the State of the Union. I decided to turn to CNN.

I don't know why I pick CNN. Probably from my days at a boarding school in Switzerland when one of the teachers would have it on all the time during the 1st Gulf War. So they got me at a young age. But I gotta say CNN, and all the other networks, aren't doing much with their newfound access to the floor. I'm not quite sure what the physical access gets them anyway. They're able to take a different angle shot of the action, therefore our perspective has changed as viewers? We're somehow more level with the elected officials who decide much of our fates from before birth until after death? I didn't feel much in touch with Washington by watching John Roberts mingle with the gaggle of politicians on the floor, but to have CNN report it, it was the greatest wish ever to have a camera on the floor.

If there was one thing that the coverage of the State of the Union proved to me, is why The Daily Show and The Colbert Report remain ever popular: how can we take these guys seriously? Better yet, how can we take that Candy character on CNN seriously? It's at moments like those, staring into the television void that I fear for the future of television journalism. I know TV is the favorite whipping post of every pseudo intellectual in this country, but as someone who loves television, loves news, and knows some of the cats producing it, I know they can do better. Spending half the coverage on how fantastic it is to have access to the floor during the speech doesn't tell me much. Apparently, the access didn't do much for CNN's ability to hold policymakers feet to the fire as well.

1 comment:

Anja said...

You write very well.