Friday, July 20, 2012

Asking the Wrong Question

It's impossible to get a worthwhile answer when you ask the wrong question.   The question is not "is Mitt Romney going to release his back tax statements?"   The question is "does a  Presidential candidate have a responsibility to be transparent with American voters on the candidate's financial history?"   If yes, how come.   If no, why not?

Why aren't reporters asking the obvious question?

Better questions lead to better reporting.  

Mitt Romney did a superb job running Bain Capital.   The goal of Bain Capital was to make money for its investors, not to create jobs.   So why would Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign position his incredibly successful company as something it never was, a jobs creator?   Why is he doing that?   And why does he run away from speaking honestly and openly about a phenomenally successful business?

Why aren't reporters asking him that?   Those questions would help reveal his thinking and his character; but those questions are not being asked.

Better questions lead to better reporting regardless of the topic.

Why don't local TV news operations cover the state legislature?  Is your local newspaper asking the local TV general manager?
Why do universities support a sport (football) that causes brain damage?  Are your local news reporters asking the college president? 

Why do Ohio MAC universities give more full scholarships to athletes than academic students? 

Why is the United States the only industrialized country where families go bankrupt from medical bills?   Have your local reporters asked every member of your Congressional delegation?

What threat does Afghanistan, a country where most homes outside Kabul don't have running water or electricity, pose to the United States that warrants the spending of billions of U.S. tax dollars?

What are the consequences of teaching a sanitized version of American history?

News organizations do a superb job covering something live; we can cover the start of a war live.   Where news organizations fail is asking questions that need to be asked.  Had we done that, we wouldn't have had to cover the start of the war live.  

When journalism fails, bad things happen.


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