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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, December 10, 2012

JADED

Let me get this straight: Barack Obama hasn't even been sworn in for his second term and there are polls on on 2016 GOP front-runners? And front page New York Times stories on leading Democrats?

Someone really needs to address this massive case of Journalist Attention Deficit Extreme Disorder.

And don't tell me that it's just a side light to the real focus of attention -- the fiscal cliff. Coverage of the serious fiscal challenges ahead have been reduced to the same JADED horse race coverage that highlights our selection of leaders.

Reporting on who's talking to who while a clock ticks ominously in the corner is not a serious look at the substantive questions of how we got here and what's really at stake in the various talking points being flung publicly while aides labor in back rooms try to craft a solution.

Every quadrennial journalists solemnly gather to review the election coverage, concede their sins and promise to change. Every four years later, things have not changed, except maybe for getting worse.

The explosion of cable television talk shows, web-based media and yes, blogs and Twitter have turned an even larger segment of Americans into political junkies, desperate to know whose doing what to who and how they are doing it.

Originally, politics was a means to and end, a way to find leaders who wished to serve people by holding the reins of government.

Today it's one of the largest businesses around, a politico-media complex that needs to be constantly fed -- with gossip and high-priced ads if necessary.

Once upon a time, a term-limited official had two years or so to accomplish things before the political world started to sap his or her relevance.

It's only a matter of tie before some Republican leader suggests Obama is a lame duck with no authority -- and some JADED scribe posts it on the web or in a blog.

I think we need to start a 12-step group for political reporters -- Journalists Anonymous. Of course the location and the process will necessarily need to be on deep background to protect the sources.

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