THE BLOG
12/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Giant Sucking Sound of 2008

As I read about Ann Coulter having her jaw wired shut, my thoughts turned to the election reporting and commentary. I realized that never in our history has so little been said with so many words. I also thought about how screaming has become an important part of our news process. I thought about several other self absorbed news show hosts or commentators who could use some time with their jaws wired shut. During the campaign, we watched as so called news reports became screaming editorials, politically based talk show hosts literally screamed for attention, and panel discussions became shouting matches. To take us even further from the truth, anger and fear tactics were thrown into the mix.

For many political pundits, the volume of the words became more important than the content or message. The votes became more important than the truth. The weapons of choice became smoke, mirrors and increased decibel levels. I once heard it said, 'You will often find that the louder the volume, the bigger the vacuum.' During this election, the giant sucking sound was not jobs crossing the border. The giant sucking sound was the sound of the "Media Bullies" trying to suck us in as they shouted down anyone with a different opinion who was willing to appear on their shows.

Part of the problem is that there are so many media outlets that the competition for attention has become ferocious. At the Democratic convention, it was estimated that there were around 4,000 participants and 15,000 media related people in attendance. I never heard the figures, but I am sure there was a similar ratio at the Republican event. That disproportionate number of reporters chasing limited truths explains why Joe the Plumber got his 15 minutes of fame. Joe might be a nice guy but he is not news.

The media glut created a situation where those covering the campaign felt it necessary to give us news 25/8. The extra hour each day and day each week were being used to invent or embellish stories that often weren't newsworthy. I am sure you remembered them. We often saw them displayed under a banner that said BREAKING. NEWS. What was presented to us as news was often as much fiction and fantasy as it was news.

The campaign circus has finally ended and the serious business of moving our country forward has begun. We need the media to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Anyone can scream about a problem but the wise discuss the solution. For the sake of our country and our sanity, I have four requests directed to all the so called reporters and political pundits.

1. Get involved in a hands on fashion to help change a life. Your words can help but nothing compares to giving of your time and talents.

2. Stop spinning and go back to reporting the news. We need you to provide us with untwisted truths.

3. Spend your time searching for and reporting on possible solutions, not distortions.

4. Stop screaming! Screams that lack facts and information create a loud yet empty silence that is deafening.