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Should the media treat presidential nominees with deference?

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 09:43 pm
Before Palin agreed to sit down with ABC this week for her first television interview as Vice-Presidential nominee, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis explained why Sarah Palin was not being put directly before reporters to answer questions:

"Why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask questions about than her personal life and her children? [..] So until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment."

Now I'm all against any media focus on what the wife, husband, children or greatgranduncles of a candidate have or have not done or said. They are not the ones standing for election. All such digging usually yields anyway is a bunch of subjective and speculative "analyses" about what this or that says about someone's purported character flaws - silly season chatter, in short.

But "respect and deference"? As one LA Times columnist noted, The dictionary definitions he found for deference began with "respectful submission" and "yielding."

What do you think? Speculation about what Davis meant to say aside, do you think candidates should be approached with deference? And if so, what should this encompass, exactly? What does it mean, in practice, for journalists? What guidelines of conduct would you suggest, what questions would you specifically define as out of bounds?
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 09:54 pm
@nimh,
I don't think they should treat them with deference and that was a particularly poor choice of words by the McCain campaign but I do think they shouldn't be so obviously gunning for them. If for nothing else to avoid becoming the story instead of covering the story.

If the media had been less rabid that kind of ploy of hiding behind the excuse of the all intrusive media wouldn't have worked as well.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:02 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Possibly, they feel that their noses and foreheads have suffered much too much from eight years of carpet burns.

A pendulum can't merely swing back to the middle.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:04 pm
@nimh,
Not sure what dictionary the LA Times columnist looked at but Merriam-Webster gives a definition of "respect and esteem due a superior or an elder ; also : affected or ingratiating regard for another's wishes".

I do think that anyone running for either President or VP should be treated with respect and esteem - whether they represent your party/views or not. It isn't so much for the person themselves. It's about the position they hold.

I disagree that submission or yeliding should play any part in it.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:11 pm
Questions about a candidate
s family that are unrelated in any way to the Presidency or whatever office the candidate is running for should be off limits. A candidates should be asked what relation he sees religion having in government, but the candidates' personal views should be off limits as the Constitution specifies. The candidate should be asked about his views on the appropriate role of government in determining legality of or funding of abortion, stemcell research, marriage, affirmative action, illegal immigration, equal rights, and similar hot button issues, but should not be badgered about his personal beliefs on such issues.

Any tough questions related to a candidate's spoken or written words, voting record, background, associations, perceptions, attitude, agenda, proposals, policies, and vision for the country are absolutely okay BUT equal scrutiny should be applied to all candidates. The one favored by the media cannot get a pass while his opponent or opponents are hammered with every imaginable tough question and not allowed to sidestep any. Not only do the questions matter, but the wording, duration and intensity of the questions, and the manner in which the answers are delivered to the public should be impartial and evenhanded.

It has been suggested by some that 2008 may see the end of true journalism as we know it. The media has become a whore for one candidate or another and has lost all semblance of objectivity. Among reputable media sources, there was a time when opinion pieces were labeled as such and any shred of bias or partiality was carefully avoided in straight news reporting. Unfortunately, those days seem to be long gone.

0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:39 pm
@nimh,
I think they should be accorded normal human courtesy, and that they should feel absolutely entitled to refuse t answer questions about their personal life UNLESS there is a clear connection between that and their public role/policy platform.

I think there should be no holds barred re their policies, decisions made in their public role, intentions re their public role, reasons for holding beliefs, accountability for their decisions.

However, it is perfectly possible to question a politician/candidate relentlessly without being unfair, rude or offensive. The process may be uncomfortable for them, but still be fair and reasonable... I see no reason why people in public life should be treated viciously.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:52 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:
What do you think? Speculation about what Davis meant to say aside, do you think candidates should be approached with deference?

No.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 03:40 pm
@nimh,
Excellent question and I agree completely with fishin's answer.

Even more so when it comes to those actually elected to the offices.

My personal opinion based on respect for the positions.

At a minimum, we should expect to see equal treatment of the nominees of each party.


Ramafuchs
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 04:07 pm
@nimh,
Should the media treat presidential nominees with deference?
Media has no business to treat soft or hard the nominees.
Media should project the vital, main problems and issues when they confront the nominees and educate the innocent ill-informed voters.
( In India if you meat a person in pub or someother open places he won't ask how many CHILDREN YOU HAVE but use the word ISSUES ( insted of children)
I wish the American journalists should not degrade themselves to report about the unwed teen-kid who happens to be a mother in 7 months but expose the ignorance of the aspirants.
ISSUES are more vital than anything else.
Journalists can be harsh to fulfill their expected duties than be soft and type down all the banal stories that I have been reading daily.
fishin
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 04:07 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

What do you think? Speculation about what Davis meant to say aside, do you think candidates should be approached with deference? And if so, what should this encompass, exactly? What does it mean, in practice, for journalists? What guidelines of conduct would you suggest, what questions would you specifically define as out of bounds?


Just to quickly revisit this topic - I'm hearing (from the Right-wingers) that the Palin interview with Gibson that was aired was fairly heavily edited. Supposedly (and I haven't factchecked this yet but I will..) several of her comments where edited out and made her responses look more extreme than they were.

This is one "guideline" where the press should being showing deference to candidates. When it comes to a decision on whether the public gets to see/hear a candidate's answers to a question or whether the the public gets to hear what the editors want to them to hear, the candidates' actual words whould win out.
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 04:24 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
You are absolutely correct sir.
Media personal should not reveal their political attachment while they report about the election.
Or They should be moral enough to write like this.
"hey i am a journalist to earn my bread and my nominee is x. this is my observation and if it is unpalatable to you please excuse me.
Truth praveails and civil courage is not saleable"
What i get is CONFUSSION and not a clear confession.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 04:27 pm
no holds barred

ask them anything and make them squirm
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 05:39 pm
@fishin,
Again I agree with fishin.

Not sure how he will fact check the claim, but if you watched the interview it sure seems like it was edited...and poorly.

No need to fact check that the interview was prefaced by an entirely negative intro (voiced by a woman, but I'm sure that was mere coincidence) that provided Palin no opportunity to refute.

Never-the-less, the McCain campaign has it's share of media consultants. Surely they know the pitfalls of giving editable interviews.

There must be a perceived advantage despite the obvious disadvantage.

Maybe they counted Gibson's professionalism.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 07:25 pm
@djjd62,
nominees, candidates, presidents

no holds barred

they're out there, and they have to earn respect - they don't automatically get respect
Ramafuchs
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 07:33 pm
@nimh,
I have bookmarked your thread.
I have my critical views about American Media persons.
I will revive this thread till next january with my cut and pastes.
This kind of subject arrest my attention and attract my concentration.
Thanks.
i will steadfastly follow this thread.
Rama
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 12:16 pm
@ehBeth,
Yes, I agree that they have to earn respect. I don't think anybody should have to earn honest representation of his/her views by the media and/or simple courtesy.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2008 03:22 pm
@Ramafuchs,
I hope the rare birds who sing the critical views use their intellectual ENGLISH to expose the avilable tomotoes or potatoes.
God take the flag of USA
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 05:29 pm
@ehBeth,
Then I am sure we have never nor will ever hear your voice raised against "Smear Machines."

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 05:50 pm
I do think candidates should be able to answer fully, for better or worse. I've never enjoyed the interruption circles that go on in tv interviews, at the same time I'm no fan of dilatory excursions or subject switching by the interviewed person. So, I'd like a reasonable time allowed for an answer. If Gibson cut where more explication was going on (I didn't see the interview, much less read about cuts), I'm not for that. Dilation, I'm for cutting it.

I've a certain basic sympathy for all of the candidates re the travails of campaigning. Who of us could speak perfectly for what now seems like two years? However, no holds barred on policy questions. In fact, that might be a different and interesting tact, given the media obsession with silly season stuff (caused by our interest in all that.)
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 05:52 pm
@ossobuco,
I have no sympathy with any of them.
0 Replies
 
 

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