I fully support this:
Let’s have the FCC require that the networks designate their news people with either a “D” or a little “R”. Some examples: “Katie Couric (D-CBS)”, Wolf Blitzer “D-CNN”, “Keith Olbermann (D-MSNBC), “Chris Mathhews (D-MSNBC), Bill Moyers and Gwen Ifful (D-PBS) and yes, Joe Scarborough (R-MSNBC). Get the idea?
If FOX News is really “fair and balanced” – like they say they are – let’s make them put a “D” or “R” under the person’s picture as he/she talks. I want to know for sure if that feisty Irish guy on the “No Spin Zone” is a Democrat or a Republican – and not, as he alleges, an “independent.”
A caveat: I’m afraid if we let FOX use an “I”, then all the networks would want to use it and we would end up exactly where we are now. So, to keep the system brutally honest – absolutely no “I’s” would be permitted. After all, that’s what they all say they are now.
Also helpful would be short bits of bio information, like: “Stephanopoulos (D-ABC) was Bill Clinton’s press secretary”, “Buchanan (R-MSNBC) ran for president three times, was a speech Writer for Richard Nixon, and communications director for Reagan,” “Matthews (D-MSNBC) was press secretary for former House Speaker Tip O’Neil (D-MA)” and “Mark Shields (D-PBS) worked on several Democratic presidential campaigns”.
In fact, the second point is even better than the first. The biggest problem? Mainstream News Media buries the party affiliation of politicians when it is a Democrat Behaving Badly. How could we expect them to be honest about their own affiliation and biographical data?
But I guess that’s the point here: pass a law that requires the affiliation and biography to be prominently and regularly displayed, and then investigate when commentary and designated affiliation seems to be at odds, i.e., dishonest.