Fourth es­tate dropped ball on elec­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - RON KURTZ Al­pharetta, Ge­or­gia

There was a time when the fourth es­tate (i.e., the press or news me­dia) was re­spected as an in­sti­tu­tion that rep­re­sented and pro­tected the pub­lic in­ter­ests. Now it seems the fo­cus of the me­dia is on pan­der­ing to the pub­lic’s worst in­stincts in or­der to at­tract a large au­di­ence and thus in­crease prof­its.

If this was not the case, would the me­dia be giv­ing so much ex­po­sure to the most seedy as­pects of the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign (and, be­fore that, the pri­maries)? The me­dia might also be more neu­tral in their pre­sen­ta­tion of cam­paign-re­lated news.

In fact, while re­port­ing the highly un­fa­vor­able rat­ings of the two lead­ing can­di­dates and ac­knowl­edg­ing the at­ti­tude among many that the elec­tion is a choice be­tween the lesser of two evils, the me­dia might have been ex­pected to give more ex­po­sure to other can­di­dates, such as Gary John­son and Jill Stein. But they have vir­tu­ally ig­nored them.

Equally im­por­tant is the fact that the me­dia has rec­og­nized the low ap­proval rat­ings given to Congress, and ac­knowl­edged the par­ti­san­ship and sys­temic grid­lock that pre­vents any­thing pro­duc­tive com­ing out of Wash­ing­ton. Mean­while, ca­reer politi­cians say and do any­thing to be re-elected. Why doesn’t the fourth es­tate cam­paign for the ob­vi­ous mea­sures that would cor­rect this sit­u­a­tion?

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