Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Political Obfuscation and the Media

While Senator McCain continues to warm up in the Republican bullpen, senators Clinton and Obama continue to duke it out throughout the never-ending primary process. The media's (television, radio, Internet, and even newspapers) job as I see it is to obfuscate the issues as much as possible. Occasionally issues such as health care and the Great American housing crisis get talked about or written, but the primary focus is on whatever the candidates may have said to embarrass themselves or potentially anger some portion of the potential voters. The candidates’ family, friends, political campaign staff, distant relatives, and anyone they might ever have potentially known are included in this effort to scoop up into the great media maw that feasts on misstatements, errors of omission or commission, and anything potentially politically damaging.

When Senator Clinton misremembered what happened on her visit to Bosnia, the media were "all over her like a blanket." (Pardon the metaphor) Anything of consequence vanished from the headlines because Mrs. Clinton remembered a more exciting excursion into a war zone than the peaceful visit she actually had. What are a few bullets between friends? Most recently, Senator Obama forgot to turn on his internal political censor and said things about working people that some might have found offensive. Goodness, why should people be angry about the fact that their incomes cannot keep up with inflation, their health insurance is inadequate or nonexistent, while the country continues to march on as if no one is in charge. Well, someone is in charge, and that's a whole other issue.

After the media jumped on Mr. Obama for what he said, it then focused its collective radar like mind on how he tried to extricate his political foot out of his mouth.

These things happen all the time and candidates shouldn't be held responsible for acting like the rest of us because they too say things they wish they had never thought to utter. It's possible that someone reading this blog might take exception to its tone and accuse me of exaggerating and/or making misleading statements about how the media covers the political campaigns. That's probably true, but only slightly. If anyone doubts my sincerity they need only read several of the columns written by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times about Senator Clinton. Ms. Dowd takes the sharpest of filleting knives and with great precision and vigor carves up Mrs. Clinton up at every opportunity. I guess everyone needs a hobby.

Stay tuned because it's only going to get worse. Eventually a Democrat will be nominated and the real campaign will begin. Then the media can report about the candidates’ mistakes and the political attack machines of both parties while only occasionally referring to the issues. If somehow the voters figure out what the candidates stand for, more power to them.


Anonymous said...

This one was funnier but do you have to be so sarcastic. The media does a crap job of covering anything. I can't stand Hilary Clinton. She is so twisted and so power hungry. We need someone new like Obama to try to correct some of the mess the current knucklehead has created. God help us if we get McCain. He'll go to sleep during cabinet meetings. The man doesn't have a clue.


Anonymous said...

This was a funny, somewhat sardonic blog about our potential new leader, whoever that may be. In my opinion it doesn't really matter who it is. The leader depends on advisors for all decisions. I think we should have a system with which to elect the advisors!

Anonymous said...

The media's job is to sell itself in whatever form is being reported. Newspapers sell newspapers and television sells commercials. Get the audience's attention is the only mandate. I'm probably more cynical than you are because I've been involved in election campaigns. The press will also misquote you or take things totally out of context.


Anonymous said...

Sarcastic but funny. You were just proven right about the meddia in the most debate. I think the media thinks that they are the story not the candidates. I saw one person interviewed in Pa. who said "waited one hour before they got to any issues." The whole campaign is way too long.