Sunday, March 13, 2011

A letter to the Editor of the New York Times

Sent to the New York Times on March 1, 2011.

I have to express my utter journalistic disappointment when reading "Thank You for Your Support. Now, Can We Sweep the Capitol?" By Dan Barry on the NYT webpage.

I have been checking the website everyday for more information on the protest in Wisconsin. There admittedly has been some great stories, but these are often at the bottom of the page in small print. The referenced article was displayed in the U.S. section in bigger print. And instead of discussing the issues forcing Wisconsinites from across the state to head out in the cold to spend hours everyday in and around the capitol, ie, loss collective bargaining, governor appointees overriding the laws governing Medicaid, the ability of Gov. to sell a power plant at anytime, to anyone, for any amount of time without a bidding process, and a multitude of other issues, the NYTs focuses on a cleaning schedule. I still have to laugh a bit from the article and think to myself, wow, seriously?!?. It is more newsworthy that a guy is walking around in a with a Viking hat and people are doing yoga than this larger issue, which could possibly be the defining moment of our current democratic process. I am confused.

Yesterday and today, people haven’t had ready access to the Capitol building. We are literally getting locked our of our democracy in a similar way to how we were silenced when the Republicans walked out of the public hearings two weeks ago.

I think we all need to recognize something very important to the people in Wisconsin, and I am one of them. This is no joke to us. We are having trouble sleeping at night. We aren’t able to concentrate or take care of ourselves as we were before this started. We are nervous about our very near future. And we are nervous about our long-term future.

Why are we inundated with the heroics of the protests in the Middle East while belittling protesters in the United States? I fully support the coverage of the Middle East. But now, it is also time that we look in the mirror and figure out what role we will allow ourselves to play in our own governing system.

I would expect The New York Times to take this more seriously and engage and inform the readership. I am waiting.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to both "ditto" this letter to the New York Times, but in addition many of the points raised here are applicable to most media sources. The only consolation we have is that MSNBC has been making up for it by, in a sense, almost over-covering Wisconsin. Some have been frustrated by it, but they have to since no other media sources are really covering what is happening here at all, and when they do, often they do exactly what the NYT does... they either belittle it, or outright get the stories wrong. It has never been so apparent to me as now that I am here watching democracy be stripped away, not even slowly, but RAPIDLY. A major event occurs each and every day, and it's not simply that it's not being covered by the national media, even many of our LOCAL sources are not covering it. It's so frustrating, and were it not for the momentum of the people around me that helps keep me going every day, I would feel helpless. I miss when it used to feel as if the media wanted to uncover and expose corruption.

    Well, I can only hope that the awakening from apathy continues to spread outward from this epicenter.