Monday, March 30, 2009

More Reactions to My Post on the Media

Mark Bralley and his blog "What's Wrong With This Picture?" has joined the blogosphere in reacting to my post "Has the legislature become beholden to the media?". As all the reactionary posts have been, Mark's was a thoughtful and interesting post which included some great photo's. The reflection photo of David Alire Garcia was worthy of a gallery showing. Mark must have a great cataloging system to keep track of photo's and find them even when they are 3o or more years old.

In his post interestingly titled "No Shootout With The Sheriff", Mark takes from my blog post that the premise was....

Solano’s premise is, that the media has its own agenda and it was displayed this legislative session by wielding "undue influence" on legislators.
The real interesting part of the reactionary posts is looking at how each blogger viewed my post and what they took away from it. Each had their own slant on how they viewed the post, what my basic premise was in writing it and what their reaction to what I said was.

In law enforcement we have an exercise in the police academy where someone walks into a room full of cadets, commits a fake robbery or other crime and leaves quickly. It is timed to equal the average time it takes to rob a convenience store etc. Usually a minute or less. Using only their memory (no time to take notes when you are being robbed) the 30 - 40 cadets are then asked to describe the robber. You will get 30-40 different descriptions and no one will get it exactly right.

The exercise is designed to teach the cadets what victims go through and teach them to be more observant. Each persons view of the suspect is based on many factors, one of which being the individuality of the person themselves. As I read each of the reactions to my post I see the individuality of the writer. Each of them read the exact same blog post and so far all of the posts have been from those connected with the news media. While there is some similarities in the reactions the differences far out weigh the similarities.

Mark and I are probably the most alike among New Mexico bloggers in that we both have a law enforcement background, and a union background. His posts often contain historical perspectives and this one was a very educational historical look at the news media. He also gives some personal insight on the legislative session. He writes...

This session happened to align itself through a series of events, some caused by the ham fisted and overbearing manner of the legislative leadership in trying to shut down their self mandated openness. Some because of the lack of money shifted the focus to other items. Some of it was because of the emphasis placed on the number of ethics bills and the importance that the media decided those bills should have. Some in the media argue that people are frustrated by the corruption cases of recent years and are demanding something be done. The legislators must have been hearing the same thing based upon the number of bills submitted covering a wide range of ethics topics.
I agree, the stars aligned such this year that bills that never seemed to have a chance received more than their fair share of discussion and actually made it through to the governors desk. Now I am not saying the media deserves all the credit for this occurring. My blog post was only meant to discuss what I feel was a larger than normal pulpit the media had during this session. I could do a whole series of posts on each of the other factors that took place to help the stars align just so during this session. The Governors lack of interest, the Governors need to shore up his legacy, the new younger generation of law makers, the lack of bills which would raise the rancor of the big lobby interests like the liquor lobby, health care and others, the lack of lobby dollars, parties, luncheons etc, the economy, the economy, and the economy. Did I mention the economy?

Mark throws out one last comment I want to address:

Just one last thought, Solano thinks the media should be required to register as lobbyists. However, I wouldn't be required under the current law because I'm not paid. I believe in a free press and what I've done with the legislature this year, I have done for free.

I really don't believe reporters should register as lobbyists. I did throw that out there to compare and contrast what lobbyists do to what I feel the news media sometimes does in certain pieces that are slanted towards getting a reaction from lawmakers. We all know it happens and I have to admit I would probably do it also.

Any way this has been a lively discussion and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It will be interesting to continue to read comments, blog posts and reactions if they continue. If not then it has been fun and educational.


No comments: