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Are “We” Up to the Challenge?

washingtonmonucrowd.jpgFor the last four days we’ve watched the methodical and sweeping changes President Obama has delivered. We’ve made much of executive orders on closing Gitmo and restoring funding for family planning global programs and….

We’ve buzzed over the giant step upward from cowboyness to manhood that defines the arc from Bush to Obama.

We’ve kibitzed about all manner of changes, from blogs to op-eds. As Frank Rich opines for Sunday, Obama calls on us in austere terms to put aside the shallow and childish for the responsible. Rich concludes, in "No Time for Poetry": While it’s become a Beltway cliché that America’s new young president has yet to be tested, it is past time for us to realize that our own test is also about to begin.

While he may be talking about every American, every citizen, there’s one group that needs singling out for special confrontation: Rich’s own cohorts in the "mainstream media."

Sunday morning launches as officially as there is the new media age for the Obama years. Sure there were the preliminaries, the predictable rants of folks like O’Reilly, the riffs of Stewart and Colbert, the jockeying for questioning in the WH press room, the nightly news reporters reciting as fact the debunked "61" Gitmo detainees fighting against us.

But it’s on Sunday morning that conventional wisdom takes root, that arguments are put forward, that truths are revealed…or hidden or omitted.

How will the Sunday morning gang–John King, Bob Schieffer, George Stephanopoulus, David Gregory–acquit themselves? Will they enable false framing…or confront it? Will they blithely let blatant and debunked numbers slip-slide on by…or will they clearly clarify?

Sunday morning Senators and Congresspeople and the Vice President will sit across from these hosts. Experts on finance and the challenges of the current economy.

Will we hear facts? Or spin? And will the Sunday morning gang be up to the challenge of sorting it out? We’ll be watching.

No matter what Chris Matthews or others in the old media may want to tell themselves, being "journalists" is not earned by dint of having a teevee show or a newspaper column.

And the era of infotainment, like the rest of the childish things, must be put aside. Because we’re all in this together. And we all are being put to the test.
crossposted at Prairie Sun Rising

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