Monday, October 18, 2010
Dr. Mertens, Vows To Fight Media Bias Toward Independents
Channel 8 set up cameras at the debate so that they could carefully shoot it without ever having Tom in any shot, and during their TV coverage, they never mentioned that Tom participated (despite the fact that I’ve heard from attendees that Tom won the debate).
These facts have made me more angry at the media than any of the rest of their actions this year. So, here’s my story: I was at an event on Saturday that included a presentation by the news director of Channel 8. It was a one hour interactive presentation and discussion of news and media coverage. Half way through he started talking about the importance of trust in media. I interrupted, and told the story of what Channel 8 did. This resulted in a passionate discussion for the remaining 30 minutes about ethics in journalism. The news director defended Channel 8 strongly at first, but the crowd beat him down. At the end of the session, the news director told me that he would investigate, and “if we blew it, I’ll be as upset as you are.” We’ll see about that.
I’ve been talking about this at every campaign event since: the fact that Tom Marsh has essentially been invited to every debate EXCEPT the televised debates, and that many of the major media outlets have made a point of not mentioning his participation in those he’s been invited to, has caused audible gasps in the audiences. We need to hammer this beyond the election. I’m planning op-ed pieces to all CT newspapers (they won’t print op-eds from candidates, so I have to wait until after Nov. 2), detailing what has happened, and I encourage others to do the same. Mike Telesca and I have discussed the possibility of a lawsuit as well, to raise awareness. This is our biggest problem; the media is complicit in the degradation of our democracy, and we need to fight to repair it, beyond November!
Dr. John Mertens
Professor of Engineering, Trinity College