I just finished reading Chris Hayes's book Twilight of the Elites, about which I will have much more to say in a future entry; however, part of Hayes's thesis is that our trust in "elite institutions" has dramatically fallen since the 1960s. One of those institutions is the media - where once we had the "most trusted man in America" Walter Cronkite, we now have a bleacher commentariat that does little more than narrate the Washington food fight. But hey, it's a job, I guess it pays, no matter that the lives of millions of Americans are affected by the decisions they choose to report (or not) report on.
One of the nice things about Twitter is that it has lopped off the barrier between journalists and their readers. With the Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act being announced tomorrow, Chris Cillizza, a staff writer for The Washington Post who blogs as "The Fix" and is a frequent guest on the cable chat shows, tweeted the following:
Gaming out the politics of the 3 most likely rulings by SCOTUS on the health care law. http://ow.ly/bS0Ak
I was a little annoyed that tomorrow's decision was just fodder for a blog entry by Mr. Cillizza, who specializes in a "winners and losers" type of reporting that is usually devoid of any serious policy discussion. So I responded thusly:
@TheFix Instead of looking at EVERY decision in DC from a political lens, how abt the millions affected by the decisions for once?
Too much to ask for? Maybe, but it's one thing to opine about a primary debate or whatever the latest tempest in a teapot that is roiling Washington, but the Affordable Care Act affects the ability of millions of Americans to get health insurance. Surely, the weight of an anonymous "follower" would spur Mr. Cillizza to reconsider, right? Not so much. His four word response:
@scarylawyerguy I write a campaign blog.
And there you have it. Don't blame Chris Cillizza, who has the platform of one of the five largest (and most important) newspapers in the country, 123,000+ followers on Twitter, appearances on TV and a blog on a highly trafficked website, for not caring about the 30 million people who may not be able to get health coverage after tomorrow, he just writes a campaign blog.