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Bill Jastromb: Give us a news media worthy of our times

To the editor:

In the May 15 Gazette, I read a front-page article entitled “Obama’s 2nd term mired in troubles.” The Boston Globe’s headline for a similar article was “Obama tries to control damage on 3 fronts.” These articles covered important news — important to newspapers that need to attract readers to spectacles and drama. These articles are full of assumptions and speculations that do not require a good assessment of the facts but read more like fiction.

These articles are trying to create scandals out of every misstep the president might make or out of every misstep that Hillary Clinton, a future Democratic candidate for president, might make.

Why are these troubles and furors on the front page when the real news from Washington is what is not happening?

I have not read an article that describes the responsibilities of Congress and explains its refusal to get anything done. Why does it refuse to approve President Obama’s nominations for judicial positions, for the head of the EPA and for many essential government departments and then complain when things are mismanaged? Why do Republicans make a fuss about IRS actions when they refuse to approve Obama’s appointment of a new director for the IRS?

Although major newspapers and TV networks are deficient, I do learn from “All In” with Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, whose programs present in-depth analyses. They choose to explain why things are the way they are rather than to speculate on the way things could or should be.

The news media cover events that engage emotions. I want the media to respect the intelligence of their audiences and to cover events that are thoughtful and informative. Specifically, I want to know what is happening with President Obama’s agenda and why Congress continues to frustrate anything the president proposes even when it is in agreement with earlier Republican positions. Or is it because Republicans want to demonstrate why they think government is dysfunctional? Or is it because the news media think they need to turn events into battles that will attract readers who will pay for subscriptions?

Bill Jastromb


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