The Popcorn Stand: Presidential race shouldn’t be just about who’s the villain

I’ve written about how I thought Mike Pence graciously handled the whole situation involving the booing of a military mom at a rally here Monday, but again I admit as much as I love politics, I’m a sports guy first.

So when somebody told me Pence was going to be Donald Trump’s running mate, I replied “I love how Hunter Pence plays baseball, but I don’t know what kind of vice president he would make.”

I’ve also written before how much politics is so much like sports and how the media any more cover both pretty much the same. Bill Russell once lamented how the media simplified their coverage of sports as being “bums vs. heroes” when it was more about “the battle” (there’s a classic scene from one of my favorite shows, “Sports Night” in which one of the characters talks about “the battle”

Russell said sport wasn’t just art, otherwise it would be in a museum. He also said it wasn’t war. It was the combination of art and battle. Russell never understood why sportswriters couldn’t portray sports as a combination of art and battle, but instead portrayed it as “bums vs. heroes.”

I get the sense that’s the way the national media want to portray politics today. It’s not about discourse any more, it’s about villains vs. heroes. Actually, who’s the villain of the week?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have traded turns being the villain and we the media won’t provide any perspective even though it’s our job.

So the media have left us with two caricatures we don’t like applying for the most important job in the world.

As Yogi Berra said, “only in America.”

— Charles Whisnand


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