*Disclaimer* I pick on Republicans in this post and apologize for that. I know the Democrats have their fair share of “experts” as well, but none came easily to mind and this was an off the cuff rant. Please feel free to leave your examples in the comments section! Also, links to come later.
Mainly it boils down to this, it makes “experts” out of people that really aren’t. Remember Joe the Plumber? The plumber, without a license, who made national news with his “analysis” of then Candidate Obama’s tax plan? Well, he’s now saying he won’t run for elected office because “God told [him] not to.” Does that sound like the kind of person we need tax plan analysis from? No? I didn’t think so.
Then there’s the propensity of 24-hour news channels to think that the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties are knowledgeable “experts” on every topic under the sun. Take Michael Steele (side note: here I am trying to resist the old “No, really, take him” joke, and obviously failing miserably). His speech at the National Press Club drew directly, word for word from a prepared messaging memo. Does this sound like an “expert” to you?
Finally, there’s what I just witnessed on CNN. Wolf Blitzer interviewing Rudy Giuliani about health care reform with the crawl “Health care reform bill terrifying.” No specification on screen about WHICH health care reform bill, which would have been helpful. And I didn’t realize Rudy Giuliani was an elected member of Congress and had any influence over the process. Oh, wait, he’s not? Oh, then he must have some sort of intense background in health care that I didn’t know about. Wait, he doesn’t? He’s also just regurgitating GOP talking points? Ooooooh. I get it now. He’s an “expert.”
Why aren’t we talking to Orrin Hatch, who walked out on the Senate Finance Committee negotiations due to concerns? Why don’t we talk to him about what he finds “terrifying” about reform? Or could we talk to the health care reform expert at the Heritage Foundation about their concerns? They must have more in-depth knowledge than Mr. Giuliani; it’s what they do all day!
All I’m saying is there are REAL experts you could talk to; not just people who will tell you the same thing that’s been said elsewhere, sometimes in the same words! Or, and here’s an even better idea, you could use your 24 hour format to cover ALL the news, not just one subject on an endless loop. Then, maybe, we’ll never again end up seeing 24 hour coverage of the deaths of Michael Jackson or Anna Nicole Smith type celebrities again.