politics | October 31, 2012

Media Hype Hurts The Political Process: Politics Speaker Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi, never one to be shy about voicing his opinion, wishes that, sometimes, we could "turn down the volume" when watching coverage of the presidential race. "It's perfectly valid for us media types to advocate for the candidate we think is more qualified, based on our reporting," writes the politics speaker in a recent Rolling Stone article. "But the hype has gotten so out of control, it's become bigger than the presidency itself."

For Taibbi, author of the bestselling book Griftopia, there is too much focus being placed on poll numbers, rather than on the actual issues. There's also too much time and money being poured into creating a thick, uncrossable line between one political affiliation and the other. Instead, he suggests that the media pay more attention to what the candidates are saying and attempt to create a visceral connection between a voter and a candidate—instead of pitting people against each other. "Banning poll numbers would force the media to actually cover the issues, he argues, "[because], as it stands now, the horse race is the entire story." This would stop people from being sent into a state of hysteria over who is voting for who, and people would be less likely to fly into a panic when they think that their candidate of choice is losing at the polls. Voters should feel exhilarated about the political process, not overwhelmed by it, Taibbi writes. If voters are excited about what's happening during the campaign, they can develop a true sense of patriotism and a connection to politics—even after the polls close and a decision is made.

In this article, and in his other award-winning columns, Taibbi picks apart the issues with our current political discourse and provides meaningful suggestions on how to correct them. Whether he's writing about politics in Rolling Stone, or speaking about the economic crisis in his keynotes, Taibbi presents a passionate and thought-provoking analysis of our biggest institutions.

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