Jay Rosen thinks the Sunday politics shows on TV could be improved: My Simple Fix for the Messed Up Sunday Shows:
The beauty of this idea is that it turns the biggest weakness of political television–the fact that time is expensive, and so complicated distortions, or simple distortions about complicated matters, are rational tactics for advantage-seeking pols–into a kind of strength. The format beckons them to evade, deny, elide, demagogue and confuse…. but then they pay for it later if they give into temptation and make that choice. So imagine the midweek fact check from last week as a short segment wrapping up the show the following week. Now you have an incentive system that’s at least pointed in the right direction.
This assumes, of course, that the Sunday chat shows are interested in fostering truth for its own sake. I get the feeling that news divisions at the networks have been moving in a different direction for a while now. But maybe calling people on their B.S. would be good for some ratings?
I actually don’t think more than a handful of people actually watch those shows. But since that handful includes lots of bloggers and politicians, maybe putting Rosen’s truth incentive in place would still have some sort of impact, at least among bloggers and/or politicians?