Thursday, June 28, 2007

HOW THE MEDIA IS RIGGING THE 2008 ELECTION

Sam Smith

The national media is rigging the 2008 election. That it doesn't realize this makes as little difference as the unconsciousness of a drunk driver or the upbringing of a prejudiced individual. Intent may explain or mitigate an offense; it does not, however, alter the effect. And the practice should be regarded as disreputable as any form of negligence that contributes to great harm.

The main forces driving this manipulation are the cultural isolation of the national media, its incestuous relationship with those in power, its immersion in political mythology and the general collapse of skeptical and investigative journalism.

It is not a unique phenomenon. For example, the campaign media overwhelmingly supported the candidacy of Bill Clinton in 1992 and happily created a myth about him even as they ignored readily available evidence of the major corruption in which he was involved.

It is still early in the campaign, so we shall probably return to this topic from time to time, but here are some the clearly visible ways in which the media has rigged the election so far:

- It created the Barack Obama myth out of whole cloth. A political lightweight from the Chicago Democratic machine with a virtually non-existent record has been turned into JFK II.

- It has steadfastly refused to report on the numerous scandals associated with Hillary Clinton's past, sending years of corruption, dissembling and abuse of power down the Orwellian memory hole.

- It has not done much better with the true history of Rudolph Giuliani, creating a heroic myth based largely on behavior on one particular day, 9/11, that might have been expected of any mayor of a major city.

- With both Clinton and Giuliani it has particularly avoided their extraordinary connections with criminal figures. Whatever the ultimate import of these relationships are, the voters are entitled to know with whom their candidates have consorted.

- As we have demonstrated with our headline survey, John Edwards has been consistently blacked out of the news coverage despite being ahead of Obama in more than a half dozen states.

- When covered, Edwards has been trivialized or criticized in a manner used on no other major candidate. For example, his wealth has been targeted in a way that John Kerry's never was and Hillary Clinton's isn't. While it is fair ground to tell about his $400 haircut, it is not fair meanwhile to censor Obama's parking tickets in Massachusetts that were left unpaid from college days until he decided to run for president. Even when Elizabeth Edwards criticized Ann Coulter for her hateful attacks on her husband, she was later said by major media to have "defended" her remarks as though standing up for her husband was beyond the pale.

- The media has bought into the Fred Thompson myth, despite the fact that Thompson - like Obama - has virtually nothing on his resume to recommend him for the job.

- The media has made little efforts to help voters understand the real differences between the candidates as opposed to the variations in their iconic and fantastical spin

- The major media has almost totally ignored the GOP vote caging scandal uncovered by Greg Palast.

- The major media has consistently treated majority American positions on the war and healthcare as out of the mainstream.

- And it has largely ignored the ever growing evidence of failure and corruption involving the use of electronic voting machines.

In short, the major media has used its freedom to manipulate, mythologize and mislead its audience and can be expected to continue to do so.

1 Comments:

At 9:31 PM, Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

I'm in complete agreement with your assessment that the corporate media is gaming the elections.

As you surmise, this is attributable to the "collapse of skeptical and investigative journalism" in favor of disingenuous political coverage which artfully promotes issues that will ultimately enrich the wealthy class in this country.

However, where I disagree with you is their blackout of John Edwards is limited to his candidacy. For most of 2007, Dennis Kucinich has undergone similar neglect because he's an individual with substantive ideas.

For example, he's proposed a Department of Peace to address violence in America and the world. He's introduced a bill which provides comprehensive single payer health care to everyone. More importantly, he's the only candidate with a Congressional resolution demanding the IMPEACHMENT of Vice President Dick Cheney.

It's apparent the commercial media evaluates candidates by who's leading in the polls or has the most campaign cash. What's your excuse for neglecting Kucinich ?

 

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PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

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Your editor has been a musician for many decades. He started the first band his Quaker school ever had and played drums with bands up until 1980 when he switched to stride piano. He had his own band until the mid-1990s and has played with the New Sunshine Jazz Band, Hill City Jazz Band, Not So Modern Jazz Band and the Phoenix Jazz Band.

NOTES ON THE MUSIC

Here are a few tracks:

SAM SMITH'S DECOLAND BAND

'SHINE' 

JELLY ROLL

PHOENIX JAZZ BAND

APEX BLUES   Sam playing with the Phoenix Jazz Band at the Central Ohio Jazz festival in 1990. Joining the band is George James on sax. James, then 84, had been a member of the Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller orchestras and hadappeared on some 60 records. More notes on James

WISER MAN  Sam piano & vocal

OH MAMA  Sam piano & vocal