For the past several years, there has been a growing number of people who have come to the conclusion that local and state governments are the answer to stemming the power and influence, of an out of control beast that we now call the Federal Government. As well meaning as Teddy Roosevelt may have been in his quest to have the Feds serve as a protectorate of the American people’s best interests, the size and scope of Washington’s influence has grown steadily over the years since then. In the past four years, we have witnessed larger power grabs, in a much shorter period of time in our nation’s history.
I know many people who have more confidence in state and local government, because they are less insulated from the people they are sworn to serve. People leave the state or district to go to DC and if not kept in check, they become a culture unto themselves. They forget who they represent and it is much more difficult to hold them accountable.
With state and local officials, they must live, work, and do business in their communities, and local media outlets are usually better at avoiding biased reporting. That is not to say there is no bias. There is bias, but the competition for ratings involves people in the community. People are far more likely to meet and know the anchors of a Denver reporter that say, Chuck Todd for NBC.
Here is a sample of one local reporter who was not part of the national media, interviewing President Obama. This is Denver’s local NBC affiliate (KUSA) reporter Kyle Clark, not mincing many words in his questioning:
Simple direct questioning has yet to take place by many national media outlets, but this young man obviously did not receive the script. Note how Obama tap danced his way around the questions. Also note that the interviewer did not interrupt and he let Obama ramble until his long winded non-answers came to an end. Contrast this with the way MSNBC handled an interview with him:
The first question in this interview says it all: Why has it been so easy for critics to say the Administration does not have its story straight on Benghazi?
Mr. Clark went the more direct route: Mr. President, let’s begin with the news of the day. Were the Americans in the consulate in Libya denied requests for help during that attack and is it fair to tell the Americans the details are under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?
The difference is very clear. Mika Brzezinski’s question gives the President a clear path to claim criticism about his Administration’s poor response has not been fair. Subtle to some people, but to those who are intelligent enough to analyze verbal transactions, it is not so subtle. So we can see that MSNBC is in the tank, while an NBC affiliate has the freedom to not be….and ask the kinds of tough questions the MSM has been resistant to asking.
This brings us to my larger point.
If the national media and the federal government cannot serve the needs of the people without playing games and politics, what is their role? Last time I took a U.S. Government class, the role of the federal government was to protect the borders, deliver the mail, and settle disputes between the states. The rest of the responsibilities were left to the states and municipalities. Maybe it is time for a group of states to call state conventions to discuss limiting the role of the federal government in their states. In the case of the media, what benefit does a national media offer if they are complicit with the corruption and ineptitude of a federal government that has them in their pocket.
Let’s look at it another way.
Huge companies have more purchasing power and can offer lower prices. But to get that kind of deal, you do sacrifice a certain level of service. The smaller companies may need to charge a little more, but they have more at stake and will usually do a better job at service. You mean more to them, because you live among them. The same is true of government.
In performing two similar services, Kyle Clark was 20 times the journalist that Scarborough and Brzezinski was. He lives in Denver alongside the other citizens of Denver, and therefore he was able to ask the hard questions that his neighbors wanted answered. With Joe and Mika, they don’t give a damned about people from Denver. They only care about maintaining their ivory tower positions and salaries.