Newt Gingrich, entonces Presidente del Congreso norteamericano, entrevistado por USA Today, al responder una pregunta sobre su colorida y a veces extrema retórica habría dicho:
Part of the reason I use strong language is because you all pick it up...You convince your colleagues to cover me being calm, an I'll calm. You guys wan to cover nine seconds, I'll give you nine sconds, because that is the competitive requirement...I've simply tried to learn my half of your business
En el fondo, Gingrich no es distinto a ningún otro vocero especializado. Tomen por ejemplo en nuestro colorido catalógo a Abdalá, a Nebot, o al mismo David Reinoso (cuya forma es inmejorable aunque el fondo se le vaya de las manos). Ni hablemos de Correa, aunque este último a veces gusta mezclar -en una filiación curiosa de Roldós- su discurso de sparring con su discurso de aula universitaria.
Como la cita anterior no fue encontrada por mi sino por Thimothy Cook, en uno de los mejores libros sobre la incestuosa relación entre medios y política (Governing With The News), aprovecho y dejo un par de citas adicionales para los interesados:
Not just journalism but politics in the process become obsessed with issues that can become timely, terse, easily described, dramatic, colorful, and visualizable. Although these criteria -widely shared among journalists in a variety of modalities -seem content-neutra, they are not. Politics, it follows, should be simple and straightforward, with two sides to each story and differences thus being easily resolvable. Political actors are therefore expected to be direct and consistent. Likewise, action is a good in and of itself; inacion is taken as a sign of incompetence, bad faith, and/or pettiness. Evidence of problems is likewise presumed not to be difficult to master, given the presence of clear, often visually ascertainable indicators. Of course, given that politicians are often ambiguous and flexible, wish to deal with policies and issues rather than dramatic storylines, and given that their subject matter is complex and abastract, the production values can provide a roadblock to political actors and politics.
Insofar as political actors increasingly need publicity in order to set their issues on the political agenda and otherwise achieve their aims, they must shape their activities to accord with the production values of the news, and politics follows in turn. But why are political actors interested in "learning my half of your business?" It is to that question that we now turn