Under the Hat: Green Beans and Candy Again - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Under the Hat: Green Beans and Candy Again

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Once again this year we were faced with the dilemma of weighing what people want against what people need.

At the center of the debate, a primary election that lost much of its oomph when former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the Republican primary right before his home state's election.

Add to that a sudden late spring snowstorm that dropped both temperatures and the willingness of some to go outside, and the result was the perfect storm of a no-show election.

But we dutifully went forward in reporting the results, convinced that important races still in play like state Senate and state House would prod the populace into paying attention.

Nope.

We soon got the phone calls and emails, how dare we ruin a perfectly good program with all of those numbers and names? Some even promised to never watch us again.

Ever.

A number of years ago I addressed this issue in a column called "Green Beans and Candy," arguing that sometimes the media must almost play the role of parent in making sure people get what need (in as palatable a form as possible, of course) opposed to just giving them what they want.

But we do have to be careful not to incite the crowd too much, because indeed we need their eyes on our products if we are to survive as a business.

Unlike the tree falling in the woods, if no one hears us, we don't get paid.

If people ignore an election, does that mean that we should too or do we have a responsibility to bang the gong and remind people that democracy only works if we all work at it?

I think we have a responsibility to tell people what's happening whether they want to hear it or not.

So if you call me in November to complain that all those names and numbers on the screen are ruining your program, don't be surprised if you hear me say:

Fine, you can have your candy. But finish your green beans first.

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