Iowa Press Fiddles While Iowa Burns

This weekend on Iowa Press the panel clearly seemed stumped as far as how to discuss what the Republicans are doing in the Iowa legislature. I think it must be a coping strategy of denial, “everything is fine, just keep doing what we’ve always done, stay the course” …while Iowa goes down in flames. Republicans are allowing guns near schools at a time when the leading cause of death to children in America is guns. They are taking food away from poor kids, banning books, punching down on trans kids, stripping the state auditor’s office of power to do its job and more.

Moderator Kay Henderson opened the show announcing cheerfully, “The Iowa Senate pulled an all-nighter and the legislature passed a broad education bill… another eventful week at the Iowa statehouse.”

Woo-woo, an all-nighter, that sounds cool!  Yes eventful, just another day at the office, folks. Are we having fun yet?

On and off throughout this episode they chuckled and smiled while trying to sometimes defend the indefensible and otherwise discuss the impossibly bad and nonsensical legislation the R’s are ramming through.  Sorry but trying to crack jokes and display light-hearted banter while covering how Iowa Republicans are ruining our state is offensive to viewers who are fervently hoping we’re going to get through the post-Trump years and still have an intact democracy. Not that there is anything wrong with professional humor. But most professions don’t put their inside jokes on display to the outside world. They should stop the on-air tee-hee-heeing while discussing the horrifically hurtful things Republicans are doing as if there is nothing at stake! And they should try to adopt a sense of alarm in their tone like Meteorologists do when they are reporting a tornado in the area.

There were a couple of hardee-har-hars  about still being awake at 4 am when the R’s passed their late night crappy bills that no one wants. Did they just want to make it known that they really do work?  Because that fact is not reflected by what we see on the weekly Iowa Press program.

I will give one shout out to Dave Price who let it drop that Bobby Kaufmann, son of Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa Republican party, is on the Trump payroll. This was already reported awhile back but still good to put it out there on the air.  And the panel gets a little credit for apparently not being thrilled about kid Kaufmann’s bill trying to control the Democrats’ caucus procedure.

To be fair, they seemed tired. It must be exhausting trying to come up with ways to describe what the Republicans are doing without really coming out and saying it.

The panel talked about the backward child labor law changes and actually gave credit to the R’s for being forced to not make the new law as terrible as they wanted to. Did they credit Democrats’ resistance or public pressure for the failure to pass the worst possible bill? Not really. Stephen Gruber-Miller, Statehouse reporter for The Des Moines Register, gave a nod to the good old GOP saying it was because the Republicans “looked hard” at it.  Oh, please.

Not naming names on this today – you can watch for yourself but they fell all over themselves trying to make R’s not look so bad for pushing through new rules that let kids work later.  One of the panelists actually tried to explain with a somewhat straight face,  how difficult it is for restaurants to get through the dinner rush when a kid can’t work past 7 pm on a school night because 7 pm is “not even close” to being through the dinner rush. Such a tragedy. Thanks for helpfully letting viewers know about this very good reason to turn to children to fix our economy and messed up partisan problems. If you’re new here that last line was sarcasm.

Hardly anyone I know still watches Iowa Press. The program needs to go away or change its format to match the current level of ongoing catastrophe that is Iowa at the hands of the Republican trifecta.  Iowa Press should give up trying to do what they’ve always done.  Ditch the Iowa Nice – it only benefits the evil Republicans. Bring in some columnists, other journalists, writers, anyone with some perspective that can discuss these issues in a way that educates, not placates.

And why does everyone on the show have to be connected to a Des Moines media outlet?   There is a lot of journalistic talent in Iowa.  Change the format. Get into the issues. This show in its current form is not helping our current situation.

See for yourself.  And click here if you would like to give feedback to Iowa Press

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1 Response to Iowa Press Fiddles While Iowa Burns

  1. Edward Fallon says:

    Despite having been on Iowa press three or four times as a candidate for Congress and governor, I no longer watch it either. You’re description of the program is one reason why.

    Liked by 1 person

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