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January 31st, 2010
07:16 AM ET

Dear President Obama #377: The media's fault? Don't bet on it

Reporter's Note: President Obama’s dressing down of the Republicans continues to make news, as do their responses to what he had to say. It was a pretty unusual moment in presidential politics. And that’s what I’m writing about as I continue my relentless quest to write a letter every single day, to the man on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

I know I wrote about your big meeting with the GOP’ers just yesterday, but I really want to pick up on that theme again today. Only this time, I want to talk about myself. Or rather, me and a lot of people like me, who comprise the media.

As you made that call for a change of tone in the political debate, one of your complaints is that we media types focus too often on the bitter words, sharp exchanges, and what an old friend of mine used to call “chair throwing” fights. Fair enough. I’ll readily admit that my profession has an unseemly appetite for flamethrowers on both sides of the aisle. Sure, we could make room for moderates to chew over the fine details of a pending agreement, but it’s so much more fun watching a pair of grenade lobbers square off. (To be honest, I actually don’t find that fun at all. Usually when I hear strident voices from either the far left or far right I start looking for a snack and wondering what is on ESPN. That said it is a simple equation for grabbing quick viewers, and that is certainly part of the problem too.)

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