Are you listening, Barrie Dunsmore?

September 24th, 2010

A gurney used in Indiana for lethal injections

National Public Radio reported this morning on yesterday’s execution of Teresa Lewis by the state of Virginia.  The reporter, stationed outside the death chamber, gave us an eyewitness description of Ms. Lewis’ demeanor as she  went in.  According to the reporter, she looked scared.  The reporter repeated this several times.  That was evidently the strongest impression on the reporter’s mind.

On the same broadcast, our local station, Vermont Public Radio, carried a commentary by a former network news luminary about the decline of journalism in the face of blogging and internet media.  He opined that people seek out coverage that they find congenial in preference to  journalism that tells it like it is.

Recently on NPR, we heard an interview about the history of the Tea Party movement.  Several times the interviewee, who had written a book on the subject, referred to what she described as the poorly funded grassroots character of the movement.  The name “Koch” was not mentioned, nor was the word “billionaire.”

Every time we hear a story about the upcoming elections in November, we are reminded that things don’t look good for the Democrats.  Every time we hear commentary about the political scene, we are reminded that things don’t look good for the Democrats.  Every time we hear a story about a pending political issue or controversy, we are reminded that things don’t look good for the Democrats.  We also are treated to analysis of why things don’t look good for the Democrats, and stories about what the Democrats think about things not looking good for them, and stories about what the Republicans think about things not looking good for the Democrats.  Most of the time spent talking about the nation’s political scene is devoted not to describing events that are happening or that have happened, but to speculating about what might or will happen.  The consensus seems to be that things don’t look good for the Democrats.

Then there were the years when NPR reporters were forbidden to use the word “torture” to describe the practice of interrogating prisoners by strapping them down and repeatedly bringing them to the point of drowning.  This was justified in terms of journalistic objectivity, of not wanting to take sides in a controversy.  Instead, the reporters used the euphemisms favored by the perpetrators.

In the last few days, we have heard several lengthy stories about a new television program set in Texas.  It tells a story about a con man and his families.  He doesn’t want to be a con man any more.  The person who came up with this idea says he is very pleased with it.  Tonight we heard a lengthy story about a country western singer who has sold millions of records and is preparing to sell millions more.  Much more time was devoted to each of these stories than to the dead woman, killed by the State for her crimes, in Virginia.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at 10:47 pm and is filed under media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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