Why The Witchunt for Errant Newscasters? Has PC Gone Too Far?

Posted on November 6, 2010


Within 2 months, 3 newscasters or analysts or, to most people “information entertainers” have been fired at respectable cable channels: CNN, PBS and MSNBC.

The most recent firing: Keith Obermann at MSNBC for contributing to the campaigns of 3 Democratic candidates. He has been suspended indefinitely without pay.

At the end of October, Rick Sanchez got the axe for controversial remarks about Jon Stewart and Jews in the media. And over at PBS, veteran journalist Juan Williams was terminated for expressing his personal feelings at finding Muslims about to board a plane with him.

While the aforementioned “offenses” are serious, are they grounds for firings? What ever happened to suspension pending an investigation. It seems some very fast decisions are being made before enough information has been gathered and digested.

It seems that the talking heads are not immune from the rancor accorded to candidates at election season. The charges seem extreme and the “punishment” accorded the offenders appears even more so.

We are as Salem during the era of the witches were it not for the fact that the only “witch” up in Delaware has publicly declared she is not a witch – pressured by unreasonable tactics of the opposition to prove she was.
We need to be watchful of those primarily involved in news reportage.

But we do not need to raise our concerns to the level of hysteria found at Salem just to please what some managers have concluded is John Q Public’s perception of what is appropriate. These are professions and )albeit entertainment pros) and  as such should be accorded the respect anyone in their position has earned no matter their views, no matter the offense short of murder. Careful consideration of circumstances and all aspects of an event need to overcome knee-jerk reactions.

Our minds are moving in mob mode and in the divided society in which we find ourselves, we need to avoid taking our media personnel to the gallows for each slip of the tongue. Correction should precede cannibalism.  Remember, the next view questioned could be your own.