Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Matter of Priorities

You will find no condemnations of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) on this page with regards to his Twitter photo scandal. You will find no sophomoric jokes, no links to any of the stories or calls for his resignation.

You will find no mocking of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump getting together in New York for crappy pizza. You will find no shaming of the former Alaska governor's continued ignorance of all things American -- in this instance, the history of Paul Revere.

Sure, these topics are salacious, amusing and borderline pathetic. But they're not important.

They don't matter as much as the debate over raising the debt ceiling (a prospect that, most of the time, is hardly controversial). Or the debate over the Republicans' plan to replace Medicare with a voucher program for seniors to purchase private health insurance. Or the latest jobs report, continuing the narrative of a jobless recovery.

The media should instead be focusing on Republican tactics -- both on the federal and state level -- to restrict access to choice and defund Planned Parenthood. Or the upcoming debate on (once again) letting the Bush-era tax rates expire.

The above topics are the sorts of things that need to be reported on and discussed. The beltway media and the rest of the country's journalists (setting aside sports and entertainment reporters, because of the specialized nature of their fields) should be focusing on actual issues right now, regardless of how amusing or sexy they might be.

Rep. Weiner's package has no bearing on this country's unemployment rate, and since Palin has as much of a chance at winning the presidency as I do, she's not nearly as important as making sure we reduce the federal deficit without harming this country's middle class and seniors.

Every journalist or pundit who has spent air time or printing ink or web storage on the likes of Rep. Weiner and Palin instead of any of the other topics mentioned above have failed -- both their profession and this country. It is but another example of everything that is wrong with American media (and, when extrapolated, everything wrong with American politics).

People need jobs. People need to know the economy is recovering and they're not one decision away from financial ruin. People need to be reassured that the banks and the corporations and the insurance companies can't screw them over anymore. People need to know President Obama and Congress are on their side, not the monied interests.

People do not need to know what Rep. Weiner is packing. People do not need to know that many middle schoolers have a better understanding of American history than Palin.

Shame you, mainstream media. Shame every last one of you.

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