The National Journal's Vaughn Ververs' recent commentary has me concerned and I am beginning to question CSPAN's reliance on him as a regular, credible source of reliable and open information. I plan to make CSPAN aware of this and I think you may want to drop them a line as well.
First, he sings the praises of William Safire, while portraying Maureen Dowd as the forked-tongued redheaded she-devil who will have nowhere to turn now that she allegedly cannot effectively throw her Satan-darts and laser-beams-from-Hell at the Bush administration.
Demeanor, style, and tone should have nothing to do with the future effectiveness of an individual journalist's sharing of core ideas, nor should it reflect upon their capacity to generate interest and/or produce resulting (necessary) civic dialogue, especially in the light of a divided America (a fact so many of these totally unrealistic media folk desire to ignore).
I can't help but wonder which flavor of Koolaid Ververs has been sampling.
Slap-slap-slap. Wake up, Vaughn Ververs!
Ververs also suggests that exit poll data be kept a total secret in future elections.
"So here's our suggestion for the next election: Share all the demographic and issue breakdowns. Go crazy telling people that 49 percent of NASCAR dads who think that gay marriage should be allowed voted for Candidate X. But keep those horse-race numbers out of the hands of all but a handful of National Election Pool officials. Do not share them with news anchors, reporters, producers or anyone else.
That idea really gives me the creeps. It should give you the creeps, too. If it doesn't, there's something wrong with your sense of what it means to live in an open society with an allegedly free press.
"Just get up off the ground, that's all I ask. Get up there with that lady that's up on top of this Capitol dome, that lady that stands for liberty. Take a look at this country through her eyes if you really want to see something. And you won't just see scenery; you'll see the whole parade of what Man's carved out for himself, after centuries of fighting. Fighting for something better than just jungle law, fighting so's he can stand on his own two feet, free and decent, like he was created, no matter what his race, color, or creed. That's what you'd see. There's no place out there for graft, or greed, or lies, or compromise with human liberties...it's not too late, because this country is bigger than the Taylors, or you, or me, or anything else. Great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again!"
--Jimmy Stewart as Jefferson Smith
Watch 'Mr. Smith' Die
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington will soon be rendered a quaint, obsolete democratic tale of sheer fantasy, for it will no longer be possible for one American to dare to dream of effecting change in our nation's Capitol.
"Senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican who is chairman of the Rules Committee, has been among the Republicans who have also suggested that the Republicans try to win a change by seeking a ruling from the chairman, a position that a Republican would hold, that filibusters against executive nominations are unconstitutional. A favorable ruling would require just a majority to uphold.
Some Republicans have been reluctant to try that maneuver. They call it the nuclear option, because it could come back to haunt them if they are in the minority. Democrats have also threatened to tie up the Senate in knots if they lose their right to filibuster in that manner.
"To implement it would make the last Congress look like a bipartisan tea party," Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who is on the Judiciary Committee, said. "For the sake of country and some degree of comity, I would hope and pray that the majority leader would not take away the Senate's time-honored, 200-year-old tradition."
As Mr. Smith dies, so dies American democracy.
How easily are you willing to allow that to happen?