I have been watching the media coverage of presidential campaigns for years now. Hard not to. The press does love a good campaign to cover and talk about.
So, what is going so pear shaped this year?
The media is strangely oblivious of what is going on around it. Why?
There whole point is to dig things up, see events, and report on what is going on, what is wrong with what we may be hearing. But it seems to be a struggle for them to do this. They used to be so much more eager and capable of doing it.
Remember these guys?
Well, maybe not, depending on your age. But you should know some of them. They are all people that have campaigned to be president. And one thing they have all dealt with is trying to be consistent in what they said on the stump. Sure, their is some tailoring of speeches for audiences. Even some guarded words, which they may not want getting out. But they all had to work to show that they were stalwart, true, and consistent.
And when the media decided they weren't. They paid for it.
Gore told stories of his experiences, and sometimes he was a little grandiose, sometimes he was misheard, and sometimes his words were just twisted. And no matter how the idea was born, it was latched upon Gore through the end of that election in 2000.
Kerry was a legislator, going into an election with a long record. He tried to simplify an explanation of the bill process to explain how at one point in a bill's life he had supported it, but by the final vote the situation or bill had changed, and he then opposed it. And for that, he was declared a flip-flopper. And it was pinned to his lapel, to the end of that election in 2004.
Hillary Clinton four years ago had her troubles. There was were she stood on issues as they went through Congress. And there were questions about stories she would tell to illustrate her experience. And when their was variance or confusion, she was gone after.
It is something that happens. And every candidate fights to not be trapped in this media snare.
But not this year.
Oh, no, not this year. This year it seems that consistency, veracity, and what one says one moment to the next is utterly irrelevant.
He presents SO MUCH material that you can use. Really, it is phenomenal. It comes at such a rate, I've had trouble blogging, getting lost in all the stories, turns, and pivots. It's like a snake on Ritalin.
But I am just a blogger. Journalist can do better. But most of them are not doing this. They cover the pivot, not as pandering, not as a possible lie, not as a flip or flop, but as words that could sound good and give Romney an uptick at the polls...
He's lying. It's that simple. He's shamelessly lying, and, you, the media, ignore it. Why? Is the horse race that important to you? Is the fabled role of the Fourth Estate so meaningless now? What has become of you?
Apology tour. Death Panels. Bipartisan Massachusetts. And so many more. All these lies.
Vague tax and budget plans. Phantom jobs plans. Shifting positions on Iraq and Afghanistan. Shifting positions on reproductive rights. And so much more. All this shadiness.
I...expect better. And if the media has a role in elections, it should not be as PR flaks, it should not be as court fools who sing and amuse, and it should not be as campaign year profiteers.
And if I have to tell what it should be...We are so screwed.