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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where's the beef

...in Mark Westin's (ABC President) speech at the Institute of Politics? He said:
“The more time we express our opinions, the less time we have to talk about the facts,” Westin said. “Unfortunately, opinion is driving out facts too often in most of what we see on television today.”

I agree with that. And Mark Westin said:
“It can be very entertaining to have two very spirited people discussing heath care in this country, but I for one would be better benefited by someone coming on and telling me exactly what the state of health care is before we talk about what ought to be done and telling mewhat my real options are,” Westin said.

I certainly agree with that. It's one of the reasons I stopped watching much TV news years ago. It seemed to be a waste of time. But how do I square this with Mark Halperin's (ABC News Political Director) memo during the debates? Mark said that:
"Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

"We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that."

To me, facts are facts, and facts are important. It follows that the facts on both sides of any issue are likewise important. One thing I really don't want to see is Mark Halperin's version of news, in which one side's facts are important and the facts on the other side don't matter. And which facts did Mark Halperin think were not germane? If Kerry's numbers don't add up, how is that not relevant to the decision that the public must make?

I wish I could feel certain that Mark Westin was arguing for factual news content unbiased for one side or another, but I don't. I think he should be asked the question.

We watched our friends grow up together,
And we saw them as they fell,
Some of them fell into Heaven,
Some of them fell into Hell
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