Ever take a random sampling of news stories? Proceed with caution should you choose to do so. Every time I do I am reminded why I loathe the news. It’s depressing. It’s sensationalist. It’s delivered with intent. To sell itself. To be viewed, read, observed, seen, ingested, and absorbed by the masses. To what end? Sometimes I’m not sure. To inform? To report? Journalism.org purports the following mission statement: “the central purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with accurate and reliable information they need to function in a free society.” If this is true, please tell me how Lindsey Lohan’s rehab trials or Rush Limbaugh’s diatribes are better helping me function in my free corner of the US. Please remind me how all the back-stabbing, side-swiping, slandering, issue-skirting, and general “campaigning” taking place in the race for the presidency is helping anybody move toward a better functioning country? Forgive the rant, but it’s hard for me to even care about things in the news anymore, even something touted as super. Yes. Super Tuesday is today, which basically means we find out exactly who’s going to be front and center in our nations race to back-stab, side-swipe, issue-skirt, and campaign for president. Why do I care? Won’t the newspapers and e-zines tell me exactly why I should care and what to care about anyway? It’s like the assumption is that we’ve all lost the ability to decide how we feel. As if we’re all sitting around saying, “I’m not sure if I agree with that yet, because Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper haven’t told me what to think on that particular issue.” I think I’d rather get my news from Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. At least they are open and honest about the fact that our nation’s political – dare I call it a – system, is so effed up that it has become pure entertainment. And I’m sure that’s not all it’s capable of but still… It is Entertaining. Us. Like a big variety show talent contest full of dog and pony acts or perhaps I should say Ass and Elephant skits. Would anyone even flinch if Simon, Paula, and Randy started doling out the criticisms following the presidential debates? We could call it American Idle. Where the candidates talk and the country idles… Ok, I guess it wouldn’t be the Idol folks anymore. So it’d be Christina and Cee-Lo and Adam.
Still, no one would bat an eye at the amalgamation of politics and entertainment because that’s how it’s been for a while. Otherwise how could Bill Maher still have a job? But surely I digress. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. Maybe we should say a prayer for the journalists out there or simply say good luck to the ones trying to siphon through all the BS spewing forth on the campaign trail. I’m not taking sides. No need to. It’s coming from all sides and our country is neck deep in it, but honestly, can you think of a worse responsibility than having to determine what is true and what is just strategically planted BS by the other side to help boost polling numbers? Super is the last word I’d use to describe what our political process and procedure has become, which is why there’s so much entertainment value in it. A vicious, beastly, merry-go-round. Which begs the question, who or what would you describe as super on this Super Tuesday of Tuesdays? For me, I think I’d have to start with Clark Kent, because the truth is, our country could use a little help from Super Man.