US-Wahlkampf in den Händen der Spinmeister

--- David Shaw, Kolumnist der LA Times, wirft die Frage auf, warum im Wahlkampf 2004 in den USA fast nur über die Vietnam-Vergangenheit der beiden Kandidaten berichtet wird, statt über deren Zukunftsvisionen für das Land. Er fordert ein Medien-Moratorium zu diesem Thema: Unfortunately, the dirty little secret of the news media is that for every example of great enterprise reporting, stories that intrepid reporters dig out on their own, there are hundreds of stories every day that the media cover simply because someone gives them the story or points them to the story. This is especially true of television, which thrives on conflict and has no use for nuance or complexity. Even though reporters are better educated and more sophisticated than ever before, they're more likely than ever before to be manipulated by spinmeisters on either side of the political spectrum. That's because, media consolidation notwithstanding, there are more sources of news — or if not news, then information, gossip and rumor — than ever before. Cable TV and the Internet — genuine news sites, pseudo news sites and personal blogs — can disseminate a report, no matter how fallacious or unsubstantiated, and other, presumably more reputable news organizations feel compelled to pick it up and even expand upon it. ... Hence, the blizzard of media coverage given the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the documents purporting to show that George W. Bush received preferential treatment in the National Guard. It's worth noting, of course, that the latter story did not begin in the overheated blogosphere or the 24/7 world of cable news. No, it broke on CBS, once the Tiffany of networks and now — increasingly, like many once-reputable news organizations — more akin to Wal-Mart. The result is the same. Lies! Favoritism! Scandal! Big News!! Gimme a break. I'd like to see the nation's news media declare a moratorium on the Vietnam War for the rest of this campaign and push the candidates to talk about real issues, international and domestic.

Update: Ein neues Handelsblatt-Weblog zum Thema: Handelsblatt-Korrespondent Michael Backfisch berichtet aus Washington von seinen Streifzügen durch den US-Wahlkampf