THE BLOG
03/31/2008 11:56 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Political Reporter As Media Provocateur Extraordinaire

The point here is one of questioning the role of the media, specifically those on television. Has the genre of news reporting morphed into that of television docudrama? Are the shows becoming more like Abrams' work on Lost that provokes and stirs the emotions? Is the media's newly anointed role to create good stories that leave the viewer hungry for more? It certainly makes one yearn for the days of Walter Cronkite -- a man of television media that the American public turned to for the facts, the issues, commentary and the news.

Chris Matthews' coronation of the Democratic candidate for president, Barack Obama has taken hold of his commentaries. He is predicting riots in the streets circa 1968 in Denver 2008, if that other Democratic candidate earns the Party nomination. He points to suppositions of back room machinations. The mere notion of suggesting civil unrest is unsettling from a man as brilliant as Matthews. He has a wealth of political experience and was mentored by the great politician Tip O'Neill who exemplified all that was good in American politics. When did the role of newsman become something else?

This causes one to begin to ponder how such smart and savvy political commentators like Matthews, and others, has come to play the roll of media provocateur. Obama is good. Hillary should step down. Big Bill is pulling the strings behind the curtain. Michelle Obama is the new Jackie Kennedy. Civil unrest is coming. The world is ready to welcome Obama into their arms. Oh and those nasty poll numbers -- well what the heck.

In this all critical presidential election 2008, there is a gapping need for "hardcore" reporting, commentary and the facts. There are enormous questions about the revolutionary candidacies of the first black man and the first woman. These issues cut to the core of American society and culture. They pick at the deep seeded issues of racial and gender prejudice. They all warrant pondering as our great nation prepares to take the next step forward in global leadership.

Let us not miss this opportunity because of the theatre that has become American television journalism. In the end, it is not the pundit's role to vilify one, coronate another, and continue to stir unease and unrest. Rather it is their role to lift us up with insight and commentary about the great changes facing this nation. Please those in positions of power use your megaphone to stir good solid thinking rather than inflammatory, reactionary emotions. The American people are relying on you and the world is watching.