Nearing the end of 2012, we are hearing and seeing more about the blurring of fact and fiction in the media,. First, there was the supposed 90-minute TV drama of the presidential debate. Yes, in this TV show we look to separate fact from fiction from reality from history -- and everything else in between. But maybe we are looking for something else. Style, perhaps.
Political insiders continue read the tea leaves. President Barack Obama was tired; the Republican challenger Mitt Romney was animated. The facts? There is much debate. Lots of lies, according to Obama supporters. The perception? Well, we know that’s everything in TV land.
Romney looked smooth and animated. But he again offered little in the way of specifics about what he would do in the top job -- apart from usual, stuff like lowering taxes -- and getting rid of funding for PBS, Big Bird, and Jim Lehrer. Other blurs: Does Romney have a medical plan for those people whose medical coverage has been dropped? Is he going to offer federal tax cuts to consumers -- or go the other way and eliminate big deductions? Fuzzy logic.
Romney was smiling and stood right next to President Obama. He seemed to have his spiel down. Obama looked tired and didn't really want to clear up the blurred vision. Maybe some politicians believe TV isn't all that it's cracked up to be when it comes to an informed political debate.
From all this, Romney notched a "vague" victory, say analysts. But that’s never good enough for TV viewers. Like a bad meal, you wind up being hungry two hours later.
It's been said before that in this digital age we have access to more information -- and yet, less real knowledge on TV. And wait -- it might only get worse.
MediaPost Editor in Chief Joe Mandese reports about separate initiatives at NBC News Digital and Forbes.com pushing for more blurring of the advertising/editorial lines because of the 24/7 demand for news from consumers/
Advertisers will integrate their own video content directly into the same video players and formats they use to disseminate news. Marketers are looking at this as "native advertising" -- especially when it comes to smaller mobile screens.
You might moan about what TV producers, editors and writers do from time to time. But in the future, you may not even get that kind of content professionalism.