brni (brni) wrote,

Fair and Balanced

Yeah, so, Fringe was on the teevee, and I was mucking around on this thing, and the news came on. There was some thing on NJ Governor Christie and his education secretary, who refused to attend the New Jersey Education Association's annual convention (first time in the 156 year history of the convention), apparently because the teachers have refused to do away with the union and eliminate tenure. They reported that the former governor called this a mistake and a missed opportunity for the administration to address teachers directly, rather than through the union. Then the reporter said, "But of course, he's a Democrat."

Which struck me as odd, but I was poking around on teh Intarnets, and not really paying attention.

A bit later they started going on about the exciting new policies on the new (Republican) Governor's agenda when he gets to Harrisburg. Now I've heard a bit about the upcoming PA budget shortfall. With tax revenues down and a lot already cut out of the budgets (my local school district had to cut $9M last year and an additional $6M this year), there's an anticipated $5-6B deficit, not counting the $5B in infrastructure work (repairing bridges before they collapse, etc) that is going to be needed in the next 5 years. So - massive budget deficit coming up.

So, Corbett wants to privatize liquor sales (which is something I'm reasonably in favor of, but not while we have a massive deficit hole to dig out of). Proponents of this claim that by privatizing liquor sales, the state of PA will actually increase the amount of revenue that the state realizes from liquor sales, while also providing profitable business opportunities to individuals, while also lowering liquor prices. That's math that only works if we all start drinking a whole lot more. Dunno, maybe it's just me, but I think it's just plain dumb to throw away revenue when you already can't make ends meet. But what do I know about business? I'm a liberal.

So anyway, the news anchor does a little pep rally for Corbett's plan, with a few snide comments about unions thrown in, and then introduces another reporter, who will be interviewing people representing both sides. The guy on the top (privileged) portion of the screen is a journalist (objective) who wants the LCB done away with. The person in the bottom portion of the screen is a representative of the LCB union (whom we've already been told to distrust by another (objective) journalist, and who represents a person with a vested interest).

So, questions are asked. The journalist responds, and the interviewer listens respectfully. The guy from the LCB rebuts, and as soon as he starts actually quoting facts and figures, the interviewer cuts him off, talks over him, and does not let him complete a sentence. Through the entire segment, the pro-Corbett guy got to speak at length, and was never challenged, while the LCB guy was never given an opportunity to even finish answering a question.

So - yes, both sides were represented, but Fair and Balanced?

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