Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In the season of electoral discontent, the media isn't here to help. *UPDATED*

(UPDATE AT BOTTOM, as CNN continues to be CNN.)

Tonight we head into the second of the GOP presidential debates.

Anyone up for musical podiums?

Or, as CNN calls it, "ROUND 2, play the boxing round bell, cut to clip of Trump being cocky, run the energetic music, flash up the rest of the candidate". You know, a boxing match. You know, not what it is.

But this is what the media likes to offer. Going back to the start of the year media voices have been pushing for fights, Then it was more a matter of getting someone to take on Hillary Clinton. It still is, as media voices try to push Vice President Biden into the electoral buzz.

Now, it's more about who will take down Donald Trump. What new contender will enter the ring, and knock out the braying champ? For some reason they've decided to push Carly Fiorina now. I guess it's because Bush is deflating, Carson is muttering to himself, and Kaisch's plan is to keep his head down and play an endurance game.

The thing that frustrates me is watching the mainstream media (by that I mean the cable news and newspapers) treats most of this electoral business as just sport and entertainment. It's talked about much like "the big game". We are getting a lot of boxing imagery right now from CNN, but usually it's more football. It seems few can escape the view. As much as I love the work Rachel Maddow can do she's long embraced the fun sports analogy of elections.

But that's because it sell better. Hype is exciting. Finance and healthcare reform aren't. So the pressure from above in news is to push the spectacle. And then theirs the fact they are filling 24 hours, so everything gets stretched and strained, and wild speculation becomes valuable.

"Now let's go to the Spin Room and see who has won."
Jean-Leon Gerome - Pollice Verso

You end up thinking about the notion of Bread and Circus. The idea that the people can be convinced to focused on short term entertainment and distraction, in place of public failures and ills.

It may not be completely apt. But what the media accomplishes is to dumb down the process we are all a party of. You ever watch the shows that lead up to a debate like tonight?

Speculation. Conventional Wisdom. Soundbites over analyzed. Street corner psychological analysis. Policies under analyzed. Dreary pablum.

It puts most of the news coverage we see in stark relief. This is like an overdose of what we sit through day to day. And neither is all that good or beneficial for us.

And that's sad. There was a time when news at least had a shot bringing transparency and elevating the conversation.

But that's not the job of main street news today. That's not how you please the investors.


We already have an update. Have on CNN. Just saw that they have an official CNN Bingo board for watching the debate. I await the upcoming official CNN drinking game for the debate.

Stay classy, CNN. And kids at home? Welcome to the adult's table. It's all like this.


This morning CNN is crowing about record rating for the hours and hours of...What would we call it?

Congrats. Politics and Elections as sports sells.

But I watched the highlight reel they gave forth this morning. Highlights? It's people trying to one up, quip, make vague allegations, and outright lie.

If they did get 20 some million viewers last night, how many have now been reconvinced that Planned Parenthood are up to something illegal? The CNN "news" people there didn't stand up for facts.

Also, as some noticed, in the debate there were NO questions about Black Lives Matter, police, criminal justice, income inequality, education, or even healthcare reform.

Plenty of time for games of Invade, Bomb, or Embargo though. Plenty of time to lie about Planned Parenthood.

Any chance future debates will be better? Based on CNN's crowing this morning, no.

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