Wednesday, March 31st, 2004
The question is, does news still exist? I don’t know. For the news to work, that is, news that purports to generate discussion or analysis, such as Nightline (no need to link to that) or Hardball (no need to link to that either) the screen needs to be broken into two section, one for column A and one for column B.
Pick an issue: say its politicians who refuse to give testimony under oath. Who’d want to do that anyway? Once the issue is determined, then the A and B columns need to be filled from the A and B pool so that a head can be dropped into the prefab columns. Today, news is considered simply quoting what people who find their way into the news say.
Today A said this. B responded this way. We’re trying to figure out to whom we should give more quotetime. Obviously, that would be the White House, because, well, it is painted white after all.
My wife insists, and I agree, that this sort of technique demands no thought from the principles involved. A can simply respond from the script that’s been flying around, as can B. There’s the republican script; there’s the one for the democrats. No need for an actual expert anymore. All A or B have to do is maintain script-composure. Any sort of independent thought could really give the anchor a start, i.e., he or she would have to come up with an actual thought in response to either A or B.