Friday, December 4, 2009

Sports and Politics:Why ask Conventional Wisdom?

I'm just wondering why journalist in the two areas I enjoy the most keep asking simple and set-up questions to the same type of people.

Why have on Karl Rove and ask, "So what do you think of the President's health care plan?"

Why have on Eugene Robinson and ask, "So what you think of the President's health care plan?"

Now, if you've pre-interviewed them and they are going to say something other than expected, fine, but otherwise what's the point?

I understand why you ask Lindsey Graham of South Carolina or Lieberman of Conn. or McCain (before the Presidential run). Who knows what position they might take.
In sports, a similar deal. Why have on the coach of the undefeated Colts, Caldwell, and ask "so when you clinch homefield advantage, will you rest your starters?"

Am I psychic to know he going to say, "can't take anything for granted", "we haven't won", "the most important thing is to be healthy going into the playoffs", etc.

It seems to me both sports and political journalists should work harder to make these interviews interesting and newsworthy.

For example, if you have staunchly liberal person and there's a question about Afghanistan, ask, "give me an example of what would have to happen where you would support military force?"

or ask a conservative to describe "name a policy position that the Democrats correctly advocate that the Republicans oppose?"

In sports, you could ask a coach of an undefeated team, "If you win the Super Bowl with a regular season record of 15-1, ten years from now, hardly no one will remember you, but if you go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl you will never be forgotten, so why not make that a state goal?"

I'm just saying with all the unemployment, it seems there should be more pressure on these journalists to be better and a do a more compelling job.

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