On the one hand…

On the one hand…

: Steve Safran at Lost Remote says it’s time to end this network timewaster:

We have to stop the silly, stupid and pointless practice of having one Democratic analyst and one Republican analyst for every political event and story. It adds absolutely nothing to the viewers’ understanding of a story to have people from both sides spinning. Want to help the viewers? Put lots of information in context, with background reports and information on your website. Use neutral observers and thoughtful interpreters of politics. Pretend balance is worse than no balance.

  • Except that it wasn’t balanced. It was a parade of RNC apologists, smearing the Dem speakers – when they showed their speeches. An optimist would say the same would happen during the RNC convention. But I doubt it.

  • anne.elk

    Steve is almost right, but he’s still off the mark.
    “Use neutral observers…”
    There is no such thing as a neutral observer. So says Heisenburg, H.S. Thompson, Dali, Picasso, etc. Best opt for insightful observers and make their biases known. Spinning is not insightful, it’s just easy.

  • daudder

    YES! in the guise of “balance and fairness” we get disingenious commentary from both sides. And worse, interviewers who accept the partisan comments without question, refuting or questions.
    Both Dems and GOP are doing this; its no wonder so many are turned off, have tunesd out and just don’t give a sh**.

  • Ian

    THANK YOU for Steve Safran for expressing the POTENTIAL of network TV.
    The networks still believe that their value-add is opinion. Everyone has an opinion! And most of the time, the Internet provides a better forum for them. Not everyone can do newsgathering, or provide background & context as Safran says they should.

  • david

    I’m sure true to your post that next time you get to go on with Aaron Brown and Jeff Greenfield you’ll ask them why CNN decided to have Ed Gillispie as the first person to comment on Kerry’s speech.

  • O’McSomething

    C-Span, C-Span, C-Span. You just might be surpised to find out you can form your own opinions. And you can decide for yourself if you need to take a break and watch That 70s Show during Lieberman’s speech.

  • “Neutral observers?” from where? Mars?

  • james

    From my point of view, some of these comments was very reasonable, but the others are way over the top.

  • Safran

    OK, I hereby retract the notion of a “neutral observer,” even though I meant it in a relative sort of way. Still, there are people out there who can lend insight into politics without automatically reverting to one side or the other. There are people out there who should be able to cut through the B.S. of a convention to offer deeper meanings and context. There are people out there who can look beyond the speech into the candidates’ history to see if they do as they say.
    They’re called journalists. Whaddya say we let them do their jobs?

  • Andy

    Have the media bid on the broadcast rights as they do for the Olympics, the Superbowl, the World Series.
    Hold a Dutch Auction with number of minutes and then the special minutes.
    Have the parties allow floor balloting and floor voting…
    Have the candidates visit each organization or hold X number of minutes in a press conference.
    Do we know more about John Kerry today than we did on Wednesday? 15,000 reporters and we know only what was in the speech.
    Did we really see/hear/read the news value from 15,000 reporters?
    15,000 credentialed reporters and they were concerned by 30 bloggers?