December 2, 2016

Politickin’ me off: lack of media ethics unfair to candidates

Rather than stand at my pretend podium and unleash my personal opinions on our presidential candidates, I am instead going to criticize the way certain media outlets are doing their coverage.

Our country is divided politically between Republican and Democrat. Yes, there are many divisions within these parties, but let us keep it general. Regardless of where you fall on this party-line spectrum, you are simply defined as right or left. This alone breeds disagreements and bold opinions, and that is fine.

However, it is hard to form a solid view when the media twists things, occasionally putting politicians in a bad light. If we are being honest, politicians do a pretty good job of backing themselves into corners and certainly do not need any extra help.

There is a particular interview I have in mind that really threw me off. As a disclaimer, when you are a poor college girl with local TV, sometimes you have to watch The View while you are getting ready in the morning. While that is embarrassing enough, they embarrassed themselves royally when they “interviewed” presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.

In all seriousness, The View is a joke. It is nothing more than a bunch of D-list celebrities drinking coffee at a table, complaining and fighting with each other over things they know nothing about.

While I know people that have had more thorough conversation drunk in a club bathroom, this particular discussion really stole the show and made the girls look about as dumb as they should feel.

I must say Carson is a brave man for choosing to appear on this show; he did get an awesome chance to shut them down – specifically Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg began the interview by saying Carson had made several controversial comments, including “Hitler-Nazi Germany could happen here.” She was promptly cut off by a calm Carson with “That’s not what I said.”

She looked a little thrown off, but cohost Joy Behar took over and confronted Carson on his views on evolution. She attacked him with what she thought she heard. He began to explain himself by describing the difference between microevolution and macroevolution – to which Behar rudely cut him off and said “this is too in the weeds for us” and that they did not have time for the conversation.

While Raven Symone sat next to him looking like an extra in a Fresh Prince episode, she had a few questions that would really shake things up. After saying “cool beans for you” to Carson about his tax ideas (and her referring to the IRS as the IRA), Goldberg jumped back in to make false accusations about Carson’s views on abortion.

This is where things escalated and the real problem begins.

If you are going to interview, or even speak to someone, it is mandatory you have correct information and clear direction. As we learned in elementary school, take turns when you speak. To cut someone off when they are trying to talk – especially when they are trying to explain themselves on potentially damaging comments – is just childish.

Luckily for him, Carson is currently leading the national GOP poll by 29 percent, according to an NBC News article. I am not speaking about my own views on Carson as a person or candidate. I am speaking about ethics, and it is sad (yet not surprising) to see this show has none.

It is a journalist’s job to ask the hard-hitting questions and dig for the answers – I have said this before. Your facts have to be straight. Let the candidates look stupid at their own fault. Give them your unbiased platform and let them go. Asking loaded questions is unnecessary in a simple 15-minute meet-and-great setting. It will only backfire on you, on national television.

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