November 6, 2008
A new American's view of the election
This was the first election in which I was permitted to vote. I have been in the States for 7 years, and this year I became a proud American citizen. My country of origin was the United Kingdom, so the democratic process is really not that different.
It has been so interesting watching this battle from commencement to conclusion. But one thing has struck me over and over and over again -- it stands out to me -- and that is the media involvement in the process.
Many voters will not research candidates, they are not motivated to do the work- so they will accept what is presented to them on the TV. This is a new concept to me, that the TV coverage was not honor bound to be unbiased. In Great Britain, it is a strict rule, equal coverage and tough questions for all candidates. This is a better process because it presents to all the people the good, the bad, and the ugly side of all candidates. It is a matter of democracy - it is essential in this day of mass communication. Most people get their information from mass communication and when we have Oprah and the news teams salivating and gushing over the chosen one - and not presenting the full facts - brutal cold and unadulterated - we do not get a good opportunity to evaluate and make a good decision. When we get popular film stars stating that Martin Luther King's words where fulfilled, that the man with the better character had been elected - are you kidding me!!!?
I have to also add, that although I enjoy TV and the entertainers - I don't want them deciding, indeed they are not qualified to decide who is the new president for the country I have come to love. That is the job for the American people, not their entertainers.
I think that the TV companies should take it as a personal mission to be professional journalists and present facts unbiased by personal opinions - that is what a journalist is - this sugary, mamby pamby, spoon feeding is not democracy - it's not journalism, it's not even fair. In fact to me it seems so unfair it's truly shocking, and those involved need to reassess this because it is shameful.