Rachel Marsden

But what about the other guys who lucked out and did remember all their lines this time? Isn't it the job of media moderators to recognize boilerplate spin and slice through it on the fly? There's one reliable way to do this, but it's rarely seen: In response to a candidate's prepared take, a media moderator need ask only one question: "What precise action in your background or experience illustrates this principle?" In other words, when a candidate says that he would do something, what has he previously done in his career to demonstrate that value through tangible action? Do you know who any of these candidates really is beyond what he or she claims to be? If not, then thank the style-over-substance media.

In my novel, the heroine is initially a co-host on a television news network, BUX News, and is constantly reminded by her bosses which news topics get the best audience ratings. Despite being convinced that even innately uninteresting newsworthy events can always be covered in a provocative way, management overrules her, ordering her to steer clear of themes that get poor ratings -- such as war. And when she asks tough, provocative questions of a high-profile political guest, she's admonished for jeopardizing the politician's return visit. She's told to sit there in her short skirt, crossing and uncrossing her long legs, giving viewers what management perceives that they want.

But like I said, it's just a novel. Although it might make you think twice about what you see and hear.

Rachel Marsden

Rachel Marsden is a columnist with Human Events Magazine, and Editor-In-Chief of GrandCentralPolitical News Syndicate.
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