Fight dizziness from media spin

 

It is unfortunate that Americans must receive our views of the political process through the often-distorted lens of the media. Regardless of personal bias, most journalists are interested only in reinforcing entrenched stereotypes -- specifically, that Gore is a liar and Bush is an idiot.

 

Nowhere is it more apparent than in the coverage of the first two debates. Bush's performances have been viewed as strong for no other reason except that he did not noticeably mangle the English language. Meanwhile, completely inconsequential details of Gore's anecdotes are viewed under a microscope, diverting attention away from the underlying problems of school overcrowding, prescription drug costs and other issues for which Bush has no answers despite the fact that these are real concerns affecting real people.

 

The so-called "liberal media" steadfastly refuses to focus upon Bush's own deceptions. He lied when he said that all seniors would have immediate coverage under his prescription plan. He lied when he claimed that Gore outspent him two-to-one. He lied about his plans to overturn the approval of RU-486. He lied when he said that the killers of James Byrd were tried under the hate-crime law of Texas and that all three received the death penalty. But hey, who cares? Did he pronounce everything correctly?

 

Meanwhile, irresponsible journalists continue to harp on Gore's claim to have "invented" the Internet (a word he never used), or his mother-in-law's prescription drug costs (which were 2.7 times the cost of his dog's pills rather than 3 times), or whether or not Kailey Ellis has a desk (as she does now, but many other Sarasota students still do not). Are these the factors that should shape the outcome of an election? Is anyone even remotely interested in the plans these men have for our nation?

 

I continue to maintain faith that the American people are smarter than this, and that we will fight through the dizziness during the next month as the facts continue to spin.

 

Geoff Trowbridge The Elkhart Truth, 10/15/2000