The Breaking News You Won't See

Time for another Gooberhead Award [Beanie-Cap Breakdown] – presented periodically to people in the news whose tongues are going 100 miles per hour...but who forgot to put their brains in gear.

Today, I have a network of Goobers for you: The honchos of NBC, CBS, and ABC. These conglomerate media barons have decreed that this year's national political conventions are worthy of only one hour of prime-time coverage in only three nights of each convention. These conventions will produce the next president, who will decide everything from war to taxation – yet the corporate arbiters of our public airwaves deem it more important to broadcast re-runs of sit-coms than to cover our nation's quadrennial rituals of democracy.

The honchos say that the conventions are scripted events that are not "something we need to cover on the broadcast television network," as ABC's news president so regally put it. Even news icon Dan Rather of CBS, who has fought in the past for more air time for convention coverage, now refers to them as a "money-raising, lobbyist-hunting-ground infomercial."

Well, yes – what takes place inside the hall is a parade of pontification and posturing. But why not go outside the hall, where two huge stories of national importance are playing out?

First is the very lobbyist-hunting ground that Rather decries. It would be great TV to have investigative reporters poke their cameras into the exclusive watering holes where corporate lobbyists are schmoozing with top elected officials and blatantly buying our government. Second is the astonishing police crackdown against ordinary citizens who dare to protest at these conventions. Like a Third World dictatorship, our government now routinely uses massive and abusive force to shut down democratic expression, and it's time for the media to expose it.

There's breaking news right in front of these media Gooberheads... if only they had the journalistic gumption and integrity to cover it.


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