Some people say there are no coincidences. Some also say rules were made to be broken. Neither is true.
As the staff was putting together an editorial on headlines, and how too many headline writers working for websites do nothing to raise the level of public discourse, we get an email from a friend. And attached was the latest column by Mike Blinder, the guy now running Editor & Publisher.
Mike Blinder was bemoaning the mix of news and opinion these days, and those who do nothing but raise the temperature (not to mention blood pressure) for their audiences. Or as Publisher Blinder put it:
"Wouldn't it be refreshing to see our cable news brethren stop fanning the flames as they preach to their choirs? Perhaps Joe Scarborough could invite more of the opposition's most vocal pundits (like Lindsey Graham or Mitch McConnell) on Morning Joe, not pepper them with gotcha questions, but rather have a rational dialogue about their opinions and why they should be heard by their opposition.
"And wouldn't it be amazing if Brian Kilmeade sat down with a vocal democratic leader (like Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi) and perform an intelligent, balanced interview in hopes to offer opposing opinions to the Fox and Friends viewer? Yeah, I know that the president will go ballistic, tweeting away with hatred of the concept, but would that not be a better use of their platform to serve our democracy and calm us all down?"
We were just thinking that. Great minds, etc.
Here's a headline from NBC News published Tuesday:
"Pelosi slams Trump for taking hydroxychloroquine, calls him 'morbidly obese'"
No, the speaker of the House didn't physically touch the president, much less slam him into anything. What happened is that Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN and said this about the president taking a malaria drug: "As far as the president is concerned, he's our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say. So, I think it's not a good idea."
And from that, the free, not to mention sometimes irresponsible press, produced a hundred clickable headlines. Of course, the president retaliated, as is his style, and a news cycle was created. Let's you and him fight!
NBC also got into trouble last week when Meet the Press edited video of the attorney general of the United States to criticize him unfairly. Some of the best opinion writing in The New York Times can be found in its news columns. Fox News and CNN consistently mix news and opinion, produce crawlers with sensational headlines, and generally lower the level of public discourse during commentary.
This is how the media loses trust. And, truth be told, we're running out of it fast.
Editorial on 05/22/2020
Print Headline: The headliners