When Walter Cronkite publically denounced the Vietnam War, he ushered in the new era where the broadcasting companies took an added interest in what was news and what was, well “news.” While 24/7 news has given people access to a significantly wider spread of potential topics, it’s also dealt a significant blow to the news that still matters. The recent focus on Senator Marco Rubio’s water bottle gaffe as well as Obama’s media free golf outing with Tiger Woods has shown where the interests of the news companies lie.
Senator Rubio did not make the most professional of moves when he took a sip of water mid speech in the GOP Response to the State of the Union, but is this seriously news? The days of Lincoln may be popular in the entertainment media these days, but people are quick to forget that we don’t actually live in them. Our current president has admitted to using cocaine and marijuana in his youth and we as a people decided that issues like that should not impede Obama’s election.
Yet the same media had a field day when President Obama declined to let the media in on his golf outing with Tiger Woods. Golf has been a popular past time for many presidents, on both sides of the political spectrum. It seems foolish to condemn the President for wanting to have a little leisure time in the company of one of the most popular golfers of all time.
The media is not all that concerned with what’s rational and what’s not. The water bottle that Senator Rubio used to wet his palette was not the threat, the Senator himself was. Rubio was recently featured on the cover of Time magazine, just weeks after the magazine painted Governor Chris Christie out to be Tony Soprano on the front page.
Rubio represents a threat the current way of life for mainstream media. The policies of the reported “Savior of the Republican Party” come second to the opportunities to ridicule him for blunders that the Democrats get away with all the time. The media is engaged is any many politics as the Senator. The problem is that it’s not their job.
President Obama’s golf outing is not a big issue either. However, that also represents a potential threat to the current state of the media. When Obama asked for privacy, he shut the media out. Gone were the opportunities for 60 Minutes Specials and Dateline reports on how Obama and Tiger Woods are BFFs. The media thinks that it’s owed something from the President and they were sorely mistaken.
While I doubt there will be any circumstance in which the media would abandon its love affair with the President, it will be interesting to see how their relationship will develop if Obama continues to shut them out. POTUS does not need them as much as he used to since he’s in his second term. Things could certainly heat up if both sides continue down this contentious road.
The role of the media should be in theory to supply information to the people. I’m sure any of the reporters would relay that same message to a group of kindergarteners on Career Day. It is unfortunate that such a description is so laughably wrong in the year 2013. The media’s response to the President’s request for privacy mirrored that of a grade school bully who caused a ruckus when denied a student’s lunch money. Something must be done, lest we start to praise the immature youth amongst us for their reluctance to grow up. If the media has taught me anything, it’s that behavior like that is what you need for success.