- - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There was a time when the fourth estate (i.e., the press or news media) was respected as an institution that represented and protected the public interests. Now it seems the focus of the media is on pandering to the public’s worst instincts in order to attract a large audience and thus increase profits.

If this was not the case, would the media be giving so much exposure to the most seedy aspects of the presidential campaign (and, before that, the primaries)? The media might also be more neutral in their presentation of campaign-related news.

In fact, while reporting the highly unfavorable ratings of the two leading candidates and acknowledging the attitude among many that the election is a choice between the lesser of two evils, the media might have been expected to give more exposure to other candidates, such as Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. But they have virtually ignored them.

Equally important is the fact that the media has recognized the low approval ratings given to Congress, and acknowledged the partisanship and systemic gridlock that prevents anything productive coming out of Washington. Meanwhile, career politicians say and do anything to be re-elected. Why doesn’t the fourth estate campaign for the obvious measures that would correct this situation?

RON KURTZ

Alpharetta, Ga.

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