Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Television and the Elections

Having some experience in the field of TV, I can honestly say that being interviewed or even doing what you do best can suddenly become a challenge when put in the "spotlight".   No matter how much you know your "stuff", when put instantly on camera your mind can turn off!    I am thinking about this today following the debates and recent television interviews that have sprinkled over the airwaves.    We eat them up like turkey at Thanksgiving, but like that tasty turkey- are they lulling us to sleep at the end of the meal?

Let's take the interviews for instance.  Most of the candidates are asked questions that have been researched, meticulously worded, and guided to produce a certain outcome.  One such interview was obvious- the reporter did not support that certain candidate and wanted to make him out to be a bumbling idiot!  Please- we are not so dumb that we can't see right through your rhetoric!  Playing 'devil's advocate' is a successful tool in journalism, but propagating personal opinion is NOT.

I feel bad for all the candidates who have to be scrutinized through the eye of the media.  One little mistake or slip of the tongue and that's what's played over and over again on the television.  Yes, the broadcasters are trying to "tell a vision" of what we believe.

I am also not naive when it comes to knowing that public speaking is part of the job for candidates; it is not, however, THE job.  This isn't the Miss or Mr. America Pageant.  A person should be able to speak about issues and their personal policies with confidence, yet their' performance' should be given some leniency.   I feel the same about lawyers.  If we were talking about lawyers, we would say that knowing the law is more important than being eloquent.  The same should suffice when speaking of Presidential candidates; they should know the law, the needs of the people of the country, have a comprehensive plan for policy, and be able to execute their job serving the people of this great nation.   Being able to look good on camera and impress me with their 'act'- not so important!!!

Our views of policies, track records, and morals are too often shaped by what we see and hear rather than reality. I don't know about you, but I am keenly aware that what happens in interviews is not a good temperature gauge for what goes on behind the closed door of politics.  Will our certain candidate live up to what they say on the screen?  Do they talk out of one side of their mouth, but vote a different way on bills?    Are we more accepting of candidates that look a certain way (does the camera love them)?   

I want to believe that my candidate will be the same at all times and not flip flop when they are working in Washington.  How do you surmise character in a dog-eat-dog profession?  Well, the Word says you will know them by their fruit.  What have they produced?  What are their private lives like?   What do those closest to them say about them?   Do they have policy and reform action to back up their hefty words?   Those are some things important to me.

I think we're a society of people who like to be entertained.  Not only do we see it in Presidential realm, but we oftentimes see this in our churches.  I can think of several churches (local and national) that play to the "audience" rather than hinge on God and the content they are bringing forth.   Shame on us.

When the sun has set on the Presidential debates, it's not going to be the candidate who tickled our ears though the seduction of speeches that will win my vote and I challenge you to consider the same!

On the flip side, I know the importance that media plays in allowing us to choose a candidate.  It's part of being a free society.  With that said, what would be my solution to this?   It would benefit all of us to stop clamoring to the images we see blasted in front of us, to turn off our ears to what people might say (because many times words are meant to persuade), and to get on our faces before God and pray.   His will is the most important- because it is not men who can change the course of a nation, but God CAN!  

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