we've made recommendations about what can be done to address the mess that
is todays U.S. news media. In that spirit, here is another suggestion:
television outlet that devotes a major portion of its daily schedule to covering
what potential Democratic presidential contenders are saying and doing.
Currently, almost every word uttered by George W.
Bush -- no matter how repetitive -- is carried live by major cable outlets, such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News
and C-SPAN. A great deal of attention is given, too, to speeches by Vice
President Dick Cheney and other officials of the Bush administration.
Yet, the man who got more votes in Election 2000, Al
Gore, rarely gets to make his case directly to the American people.
Indeed, most of what the public hears about Gores speeches is filtered
through the hostility and ridicule of cable-news TV commentators and other
pundits. Unwilling to admit how unfair their coverage of Gore was in
2000, these high-paid talking heads are picking up where they left off
-- and the American people have no TV outlet to turn to for relief,
with the possible exception of Comedy Central's "The Daily
Beyond the virtual black-out of Gore's speeches,
the public gets only occasional talk-show snippets
from other potential Democratic candidates the likes of Sen. John
Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Tom Daschle, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Joe
Lieberman and Gov. Howard Dean. The American people also rarely hear from
former President Clinton.
To level the political playing field somewhat,
doesnt it make sense to create a television outlet that covers what
these politicians are doing and saying? This TV station which could be distributed
via satellite, digital cable, the Internet and possibly other means
would have cameras following Gore and other leading Democratic politicians
as they make their way around the country. The station also could report
other news and events that get short shrift in the current American news
While letting the American people hear what the
Democrats are saying, the existence of such a station would put pressure
on the contenders to weigh in more decisively on issues facing
the country and the world. In effect, the Democrats would have
to sharpen their political messages or risk losing the attention of
The story of the Democratic political competition
also could make for compelling reality TV. The journalistic style of the
broadcasts could be like the documentary Boiler Room, with reporting
on behind-the-scenes maneuvering as well as out-front public appearances.
The station could become must-see TV for people interested in the
political process from Main Street USA to the K Street power corridor of
With a growing audience, the station could be attractive to advertisers,
The trick, as always, is to find the people with
resources who can turn ideas into reality. We've sent this proposal to a
few individuals, but so far without much luck. So, were asking readers
to send this plan to anyone they know who could make a difference. Report
back to us any progress.
Responses or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org