How Times Have Changed…

What passes for political news these days is vastly different than when EYE was first starting as a broadcast reporter back in the 70’s….

Much of today’s “news”  is gossip-related and driven by the insatiable news cycle that includes blogs, cable news channels, and talk radio—-both liberal and conservative…

A moment in time that once would have been largely ignored, is now the fodder for days upon days of pundification from all those who make their living trivializing the easy catch—while largely ignoring the more important, serious issues…

Here’s what I mean….

The other day, ABC NEWS had a “GOTCHA” moment with Joe Biden.

In greeting an old colleague an open microphone picked up his comment telling his friend to “give me a fu**ing break” in referring to him as Mr. Vice President.

Senior White house corespondent Jake Tapper blogged it here.

From there it was off  to the races….Real Clear Politics, among others—ran the audio here, and Drudge picked it up.

Compare that to a similar event more than 30 years ago—-memorialized in a little newspaper clip that EYE kept nestled in one of the plastic pockets of my wallet because it tickled me back in 1972…

It was a simple 16 lines—used a “filler” at the end of another unrelated story back in the day when newspapers didn’t have the ability to lay out their pages with computers.

When a story ran short—typesetters like these fellows tucked in a few lines of something to avoid having a white hole in their layout.

This “filler” story refers to the 1972 presidential campaign when Richard Nixon was running for re-election…

“Four more years” was one of the slogans of his campaign against George McGovern.

The reporter covering the story treated McGovern’s remark as a light anecdote…

THAT was then… THIS is now.

Today— a moment like that is  Media Madness!

Front page headlines around the world blare out the tale of the candidate with the foul mouth !

Political blogs would postulate on the candidate’s fitness for public office!

The radio talk shows and the 24-Hour-a-day cable networks would endlessly explore—in depth—the implications of such an outburst by an obviously unstable and anger prone hothead !

A grizzled old editor once told me there were only two kinds of news.

  • News that people NEED to know…
  • News that people WANT to know…

We all WANT to know the latest gossip or pop culture tid-bit—but we NEED to know things like what the Congress is doing with our money.

Maybe it’s time in our 24-hour-a-day, blogesphered society that we pay a LITTLE more attention to the NEED to KNOW news, instead of the WANT to know news.


My Zimbio

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