How many times have you heard a politician speak, and thought to yourself, “What does that mean?” or “Why do they keep saying that?”
WINK News is launching a new series to help you answer those questions and hold candidates and people in office accountable.
It’s called “TalkingPoints: The Truth Behind the Talk.”
Elected leaders use talking points all the time to stay on message.
The question is, do they believe what they’re saying or are they saying what they think we want to hear? Is it talk for the sake of talk, or talk for the sake of being heard?
Investigative reporter Céline McArthur asked two political analysts, Middlebury College Professor Matthew Dickinson and University of Central Florida Professor Aubrey Jewitt, to weigh in.
“So many politicians now are avoiding talking about detailed issues,” Dickinson said.
Elected leaders can do that by finding ways to get their message to you, on their own terms, with limited to no follow-up questions from the press.
“More and more, you see politicians in both parties trying to avoid things they can’t control, and that would be press conferences where you have a wide-open array of questions,” Jewitt said.
“The media is viewed as taking a stand on the issue, and politicians are quick to seize on that sentiment and play it up in ways that make discussing these issues in a level-headed dispassionate manner very difficult,” Dickinson said. “It makes it difficult for the media to do their jobs.
Jewitt adds: “There’s certainly a case to be made to have an unfiltered message, from candidates and from politicians, to the voters and citizens, but there is certainly also a very big and important role to have to answer questions from journalists who are trying to get to the truth.”
That unfiltered message from elected leaders can easily be found all over their social media platforms.
WINK News is going beyond the talking points, to get you clarity on exactly what they’re doing and how they’re getting it done.
“Confront them, especially when the facts don’t support what they’re saying,” Jewitt said.
The first race WINK News is covering for you is for U.S. Senate in Florida. Marco Rubio is running for a third term and his likely opponent is Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings.
If you have a story you want us to cover on TalkingPoints, email us at [email protected]