After a hotly contested, final debate in one of the most anticipated Senate races in recent history between Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O’Rourke, KRGV, KGBT-Valley Central, The Monitor, The Valley Morning Star, The Brownsville Herald, and the Rio Grande Guardian woke up this morning with a real chance to add their own unique reporting on last night’s events and all of them just said ‘fuck it.’
This morning, Will Weissert of the Associated Press wrote a lengthy piece on last night’s debate, entitled “Trailing in polls, O’Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate” released on, of course, the Associated Press. For those not in the know, Associated Press stories are typically used by local news publications/stations as fillers for state and national stories that they, otherwise, would not be able to cover. This practice is absolutely normal and otherwise, totally acceptable.
Except in this case.
In this case, Weissert, for all the 836 words he had reported on the debate, wrote a piece that could have been written by just about anyone with a laptop and internet. There were no exclusive quotes, soundbites; nothing. This literally could have been done by any reporter with an hour or so to kill and maybe some guts.
So, instead of actually reporting on the debate that occurred a mere 4.5 hours away, all of our major news outlets vomited this today:
KGBT-Valley Central: Trailing in polls, O’Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate
The Valley Morning Star: Trailing in polls, O’Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate
The Brownsville Herald: Trailing in polls, O’Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate
Rio Grande Guardian: Trailing in polls, O’Rourke lays into Cruz in Texas debate
It’s sad; it’s reminiscent of that time Sinclair tried to brainwash the public, and it’s so fucking stupid. With a Senate race with such intimate consequences regarding dreamers, immigration, and the wall, you’d think that one of these news organizations would have sacked-up and made a God-damn effort to send someone to cover the damn debate, or yet, shut someone into a fucking room, sit there and watch it to regurgitate SOMETHING to publish.
But no. Nobody did and I really can’t figure out who’s to blame for that.
Maybe this is a prime example of the sad state that local news has been reduced to thanks to the internet and fly-by-night assholes who think cussing out local politicians is “news.” The reality that exists between budget cuts and genuine apathy is that local news is really now just an AP echo chamber with no real meaningful, impacting coverage for the communities that they serve.
Thursday, CNN will be moderating a town-hall in McAllen featuring O’Rourke so maybe SOMEONE might make it.