Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why Is It Always The Media's Election?

Fred Armisen and Amy Poehler
on last Saturday's SNL
posing all-too-realistically as
Sens. Obama and Clinton

In the article The Media's Election by Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we see how the corporate-owned media play a large, often unnoticed role in U.S. national politics.By defining and choosing the issues, corporate MSM "acts as gatekeeper in setting the limits for political discussion and sometimes even candidacies for public office." Because John Edwards was not by definition a "marginal" candidate, MSM rejected his candidacy by "a combination of ignoring him and subjecting him to much more negative reporting than the other major contenders."

Mr. Weisbrot suggests that Sen Obama "knew how to define his candidacy within the limits of the media's constraints and still have a mass appeal."
"..From the beginning of his campaign he mostly avoided challenging powerful interests, and talked about "getting all sides to the table" and overcoming "decades of bitter partisanship." The media and punditocracy lap this stuff up like honey.
The column focuses on Obama as a crafty politician who says what he needs to say in order to sway voters in any given circumstance while avoiding media scrutiny (thanks to what appears to be the media's own temporary adoration and pedestal-placing of him). Obama is expected to once again shapeshift from his brief days as the sudden populist in Ohio and he'll likely..
"..once again hew closer to the media boundaries on their "sensitive" issues such as trade. In a different time and place this could risk alienating his base and suppressing turnout, but with the economy going down the tubes and -- no matter what the likely Republican nominee Senator John McCain thinks -- an unpopular war, this election should be the Democrat's to lose."
Mr. Weisbrot believes the general election campaign will "make any previous comments from the Clinton campaign or photos of Obama in a turban look mild by comparison."

I agree, and I don't think it's going to be as easy for Obama to convince the general public that having made a speech against the idea of the Iraq war in 2002 will provide him with convincing reason as to his judgment about what he's done in the Senate since he got there (in which most of his time's been spent running fast and furiously for POTUS)..and where to proceed from this day forward on U.S. foreign policy.

I've learned enough about so-called "cake-walks" in the past eight years to understand there's no such thing as any election that's "yours to lose"....not when we know that the fickle MSM is pulling the strings. A perpetual skeptic, I'm also not the true believer nor am I the Obamamaniac that so many of my fellow Democrats have fallen into becoming. He doesn't make me cry or see dead people or mystic visions. I have my personal faith for that, thank you.

I'll support Sen Obama's candidacy if it turns out that my fellow Democrats choose him as their nominee, but let's not kid ourselves. I think he's going to be in for the battle of his oh-so-brief political lifetime in the national spotlight when he butts up against John McCain. Corporate-owned mainstream media are not going to be Barack Obama's best pal and defender if and when he becomes nominee. You saw MSNBC's Tim Russert begin a new kind of crusade against their darling last night with the debate-question about the Jewish vote as it related to Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And so it begins....


Related: CNN has the video of Russert's line of questioning where Obama and Clinton discuss whether he rejects Louis Farrakhan's support. observe Hillary Clinton schooling Sen Obama on how to properly react to such a tough line.