Every time one of the candidates has a tough week, it means I get a late-night email telling us how biased we are toward the candidate. With Mitt Romney in the middle of a doozy of a news cycle I was due to get the email I got tonight:
Subject: Barrack Obama 'Bandwagon'
I am really tired of your constant biased drumbeat to persuade watchers of your 'news' to re-elect Obama! You have fallen right in line with the rest of your cohorts. I don't consider watching Obama on Letterman newsworthy. If I did then I would watch The Letterman Show -- which I don't -- and, I won't be watching your 'news' channel anymore either!
It never fails to insult me. If viewers realized the lengths we have to go to sometimes to get something to make sure our coverage is balanced they'd probably respond with an "Oh... my bad." But they don't know that our producer is a political junkie who takes "fair and balanced" by their true meanings. Sometimes it's tough to even out coverage-- like during the national conventions. We did our best and still got emails during each accusing us of supporting Romney and then of supporting Obama. It was again tough tonight with Romney in the middle of a political debacle, Obama saying little and a new poll out showing that Romney is losing ground. Despite including the GOP rebuttal of the '98 Obama video saying he's for redistribution of wealth, it was too late for at least one viewer who'd already hit send. I responded, as I do to all of them, and explained why we're not "persuading watchers to re-elect Obama" and why his appearance on Letterman wasn't newsworthy, but what he said, was.
The bottom line is I'm getting tired of this election. Tired of how it's divided people and tired of how cynical it's making News 10 viewers. If it's not the election and it's people like Rush and Hannity or Olbermann and Maher who are convincing people that local TV news actually is liberal and/or conservative and secretly brainwashing viewers to vote a certain way, well then, I'm not tired-- I'm defeated.
Folks, I challenge every single viewer to watch our political coverage at 11 PM every night (usually that's when we wrap up the day in politics), save it, and show me a pattern of pro-anything on either a local or national level. I'll put the fairness and accuracy of our political coverage up against anyone's.
So, if your candidate is secretly taped making controversial comments that tick off a segment of Americans-- deal with it-- because it's news and we're running it. Just like we did when his opponent made similar secret comments in '08.