Peter Funt in The Wall Street Journal on TV interviews "There are more live interviews on television than ever before, but the content is remarkably weak, due primarily to the personal agendas and sloppy efforts of interviewers," writes Funt. "This is regrettable, because interviews remain a distinctive feature of electronic journalism and, when done well, provide content that significantly supplements our understanding of issues and individuals." Funt cites recent examples where Lawrence O'Donnell, Sean Hannity, and Chris Matthews spoke nearly as much as their interviewees, often to give their own opinions. Back when interviewers pre-recorded their sessions, they could edit questions and answers, but the new trend toward live interviews reveals their flaws. "The best interviewers do their homework, put their own opinions aside, keep questions brief, and listen closely for possible follow-ups."
Bill Schneider in Politico on Santorum's continuing campaign As the Republican establishment increasingly acts like Mitt Romney has already won the nomination, Rick Santorum continues campaigning, saying he has never been the establishment choice. What keeps him going? "Santorum is a movement candidate ... Santorum claims to be carrying the flag for the conservative movement," writes Schneider. In recent primary contests, though, conservative voters have shown themselves increasingly willing to vote for Romney. Santorum argues Romney represents Ford, and he represents Reagan, more electable chiefly because he's more conservative. "But there is one thing he and other conservatives need to keep in mind: Reagan was not an easy candidate to elect in 1980."
Noah Feldman in Bloomberg View on the strip searches and privacy Last week, Justice Anthony Kennedy provided the fifth vote to uphold a jail's right to strip search even those arrested for misdemeanors without suspicion. "What principle, if any, explains Kennedy’s vote in the strip-search case? Kennedy-watchers know that he is deeply sympathetic to arguments based on human dignity," notes Feldman. He probably found no violation of dignity because everyone in prison is subject to the searches, which he concluded are necessary for prisons to operate. The larger reason, though, is that he's acknowledging a trend away from privacy in American society. We've grown willing to sign over our privacy with simple acts like signing up for Gmail. "Prison inmates, who have less control over their daily lives than anyone, are the most vulnerable to the sacrificing of privacy interests. But here they are really just guinea pigs for the rest of us."