Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Modest Proposal

I propose that news programs do not air commentary or debates until it has been fact checked and that lies, errors and misstatements be identified during the broadcasts. I am tired of the so called "balanced" approach in which people are allowed to say anything they want if only there is someone else "from the other side" saying anything he wants.

Of course, breaking news would be covered. Stations would roll footage of tsunamis and earthquake damage, street fighting, and election results. What would be delayed would be commentary on trends and forecasts.

What would we lose? We would have to wait for a couple of days to see a political debate? We would have to wait a couple of days to hear someone opine over the Middle East, China's economic development, or the debt crisis; if its worth listening to, its worth waiting for the facts to be disentangled from opinion, guesses, and untruths. Truthiness is not enough.

It would probably be wise for the programs to record and fact check several times as much as they plan to broadcast in order to get enough material worthy of airing, at least until the talking heads got to the point that they limited themselves to things that they were reasonably certain were correct.

1 comment:

John Daly said...

And how about more news and less commentary. How about fewer interviews asking politicians how they are spinning the real news?