Saturday, October 04, 2008

"Balanced" is not necessarily "Fair"

"Don't take the wrong side of an argument just because your opponent has taken the right side." -- Baltasar Gracian (Spanish Philosopher and Write, 1601 - 1658)

Campbell Brown from CNN, anchor of "Election Center", when singled out by some in the McCain campaign for what they perceive as criticism of their candidate:

“So when you have Candidate A saying the sky is blue, and Candidate B saying it’s a cloudy day, I look outside and I see, well, it’s a cloudy day,” she said. “I should be able to tell my viewers, ‘Candidate A is wrong, Candidate B is right.’ And not have to say, ‘Well, you decide.’ Then it would be like I’m an idiot. And I’d be treating the audience like idiots.”

Giving equal weight to two views that are not equal in validity is not "fairness".

It's kinda ironic -- conservatives are the ones most against the Fairness Doctrine, yet they have the biggest problem when the media sources that they perceive as liberally-biased (CNN, NBC, New York Times) don't jump when they say jump.

Speaking of McCain - David Letterman in his monologue the other night gave one of the funniest lines about McCain that I've heard lately:

"John McCain loved Palin's debate performance. Matter of fact, he applauded so much, all the lights in his home kept on going on and off."

Letterman's increasing amount of jokes at McCain's expense is no coincidence. McCain spurned an appearance on Letterman during the bailout crisis, yet kept most of his other commitments.

Some more Letterman, Top Ten "Things Overheard At Palin Debate Camp":

10. "Let's practice your bewildered silence."

9. "Can you try saying 'yes' instead of 'you betcha'?"

8. "Hey, I can see Mexico from here!"

7. "Maybe we'll get lucky and there won't be any questions about Iraq, taxes or healthcare."

6. "We're screwed!"

5. "Can I just use that lipstick-pit bull thing again?"

4. "We have to wrap it up for the day -- McCain eats dinner at 4:30."

3. "Can we get Congress to bail us out of this debate?"

2. "John Edwards wants to know if you'd like some private tutoring in his van."

1. "Any way we can just get Tina Fey to do it?"


Scott said...

The problem with the so-called fairness doctrine is that it limits debates to two sides and further locks people into the two party system.

dbackdad said...

Scott, I'm not sure that I disagree with you or even that I agree with the Fairness Doctrine. I think it may have served its purpose in the time of network television, where those were the only media outlets. But now, with hundreds of TV stations and the internet, I don't see exactly how it would even work any more.