The Media Just Doesn’t Get It
What’s wrong with the media? They keep focusing almost all of their attention on the personality aspects of the presidential campaign and not the issues.
Yesterday afternoon and this morning pundit after pundit flooded the airwaves with their advice about what Sarah Palin and John McCain should do to turn around their flagging poll numbers and win the election. The media talking heads keep referring back to the Obama/McCain debate as a tie and saying that helped Obama. The reason for the tie? That each man “handled” himself in a good manner. This assessment of who won the debate and why is an absolute insult to the American people. The media would have us believe that the stated positions of the two men who would be President of the United States had no bearing at all on the new Obama-leaning polls.
Come on, guys, I know we out here in the boondocks didn’t show a great deal of intelligence when we elected George W. Bush not once but twice, but at least give us some credit for learning the lesson the hard way. You know, like a kid who has burned his hand on the stove. Why won’t you even chance a guess that the reason for the increased shift to Obama is that now the American people know the real position of Senator McCain on how to fix the economy? Then, of course, there is that little matter of Sarah Palin’s chilling lack of knowledge in the Katie Couric interviews. She even had to bring Big Daddy McCain in to help protect her from the vicious Couric. Give me a break!
But instead of recognizing the reasons behind the shift of the American people away from McCain/Palin, the media chooses to act like a person on a sidewalk who sees someone on the ledge of a building above. The media is the person on the sidewalk and the person on the ledge represents the American voters. The person on the sidewalk has two choices to make. One is to run quickly up the stairs and coax the jumper back inside to safety. The other is to stand with eyes fixed above and shout, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” As the media and pundits watch the meltdown of Sarah Palin and show it to us, they still do everything they can to minimize it and blame the McCain campaign for “mishandling” her. The McCain campaign and the Republican operatives who appear regularly on television, however, blame the biased, mean old media for beating up on the poor little thing that they claim is tough enough to be the next vice-president of the United States, or even, God forbid, a future President of the United States.
One third of all vice-presidents go on to be future presidents of the United States. Doesn’t anybody in the media or Republicans themselves love their country enough to speak out publicly against this grave error on the part of John McCain? Some on the right actually have, but they have been few and far between. Most Republicans have been going on television, if they don’t have their own show already like Joe Scarborough, and offering Mrs. Palin advice on how she can conceal her lack of knowledge in tonight’s debate. “She should trick Joe Biden into blowing up or making a gaff that will divert attention away from her.”
“She should only appear on FOX NOISE Network and conservative talk radio for the rest of the campaign to energize the Republican base.” The latter was the advice of Pat Buchanan, a big-time Palin supporter/admirer, who obviously knows in his heart of hearts that she’s not up to the job and should lay low. “Give short answers and let Joe Biden talk.” The advice has gone on and on as the media and Republicans alike try to rescue the floundering Palin from herself. Isn’t the purpose of the debates to let the American people know what they’re getting? Not to these guys. It’s just a show designed to sway us dumb, ignorant voters to do what isn’t best for us and increase their Nielson ratings.
The same kind of advice was abundant for McCain yesterday and today, as his poll numbers sank in key battleground states. “He needs to change the subject away from the economy.” “He needs some big, new, bold policy plan to get the attention of the American people.” Someone even suggested that a new tape from Osama Bin Laden would be a good thing for McCain. It makes one wonder if someone in the old Karl Rove crew that runs McCain’s campaign is making the call now to Bin Laden, who did so much to help prop up George W. Bush’s campaign last time and his presidency as a whole.
What’s wrong with these guys in the media? They are like a bunch of spectators who have hogged the best seats at a football game and cheer for whichever team is behind to keep it interesting. They don’t care who wins or loses because, in fact, they don’t have any skin in the game. They will continue to keep their jobs and paychecks no matter who wins. So why fret themselves with the tiny detail that one of the candidates is making a fool of herself right before their eyes. It’s a sad day for journalism in America when Katie Couric has to carry the ball all by herself. I must admit that I’ve not been a great fan of Ms. Couric, but that is changing. At least she
seems interested in exposing Governor Palin for what she is: a nice PTA mom from Alaska who managed to become the governor of a state with a small population and a great love of small government and rugged go-it-alone lifestyles. Alaska is undoubtedly a beautiful state, but it is hardly a microcosm of the American people. And its proximity to Russia doesn’t make it a player on the international stage. I think most of us would be a lot more comfortable electing Tina Fey.
This is an election about big issues and political philosophies of government, not personalities. The people of this nation are painfully aware that a whole lot hangs in the balance and have already rejected the Bush policies of how to manage our government. After John McCain’s erratic behavior over the past two weeks on the Wall Street bailout and his admission during the debate that the gist of his economic recovery plan is “keeping” the Bush tax cuts, the American people have come to a conclusion as to who they want the next president to be. Some have chosen McCain. More have chosen Obama.
A little over a month to go, fellow Democrats. Hang in there. We might just pull this thing out. But don’t take anything for granted: take a friend with you to the polls on election day and vote.