First, a little background for those of you who are late to the party or who can’t stay up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live or don’t care to watch it.
On Saturday, Larry David of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, parodied Sanders’ debate performance on SNL. In one of the comedic tangents of the segment, David says Sanders is so frugal he only has one pair of underwear that he dries on a radiator every night.
Sensing that the combination of Larry David’s impression and Bernie Sanders’ underwear might drive up some serious ratings, they actually had a reporter ask Sanders about his underwear collection.
Sure, it’s a lighter moment and Sanders and the reporters covering him had fun with it. CNN spent two days milking that moment. But it isn’t a question worth asking from a CNN reporter and it certainly isn’t a question worthy of a presidential candidate.
In addition to cheapening journalists and journalism, this type of dialogue is cheapening our political discourse. Bernie Sanders has a lot of ideas. We should be talking about his ideas. We should be asking him to clarify his ideas and positions. We should be vetting him to make sure his views and plans make sense to the voters. It is the duty of journalists to pose the questions of the voters to the candidates.
When did clips from late night comedy shows become newsworthy in the first place? Have we become that desperate for ratings that we’re actually engaging the people who are running for the highest office in the land about their opinion of a late night parody show? Are we really asking if a joke about the man’s underwear is actually true?
I hear journalists around the country lamenting about an uninformed electorate. But don’t we bear some responsibility when we waste time informing the electorate about a candidate’s “ample” underwear supply instead of asking questions about how they might lead the country?Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Speaking Truth to Stupid