The Media is Wetting the Bed

I’m frankly embarrassed for our news media, especially the lords of politics, our reverent and self-important punditry.  I’m not sure what they’re doing, but it’s almost like watching drunk sports fans during a close game wavering between suicide and rapture on every play.

Because, if you take what they write and say seriously, the sky is falling for Obama (even after he slaughtered in the third debate) basically because Romney has practiced to look and sound good—that is if you don’t actually listen to or think about what he says.  Never mind that he’s had multiple positions on just about every issue that is important to the American people.  Never mind that he’s blatantly lied on multiple occasions, or that his surrogates and campaign ads might be the most dishonest we’ve ever seen.  He won the first debate (then lost the next two and embarrassed himself doing it).  And Obama dropped the ball on Libya…Romney’s really on the rise, eh?

NO.  Of course not if you’re a thinking person.  This notion that Romney should be our President is completely absurd, and it should be made more absurd by his recent and nakedly hypocritical dance to the middle, after picking a right wing idealogue as his running mate, and making himself a conservative wet dream during the Republican primaries.  But the press is letting him get away with it—you can feel the air going out of Obama’s balloon—boy, Romney sure does seem presidential…

All of it’s based on emotion.  All of it.  The worst part is that Romney and the Republicans are attacking Obama for his unspecific, wavering response on Libya, and the press is buying it, completely ignoring what really ought to be talked about, which is Romney’s unspecific, wavering response on EVERYTHING.

I still to this day, have no idea what the man stands for.  He’s waffled, misdirected, and flailed on more issues in this campaign than it’s possible to count.  If John Kerry was a flip-flopper, Mitt Romney’s an acrobat.

And yet, for some reason, all the press can talk about is how all the pressure is on Obama to be specific: about his economic plans, his foreign policy, even his debate preparation.  Why isn’t the pressure on Romney to release his taxes?  Why isn’t the pressure on Romney to explain the math regarding his tax plans? Why isn’t the pressure on Romney to be straight with the American people about just exactly what we’re going to get if he’s elected?  The press isn’t liberal—it’s doing everything in its power to make sure Romney gets elected by getting caught up in the rhetoric and emotion of the moment, not to mention pandering to the dumbest common denominator of human.  They choose this rather than performing their journalistic duty to ask hard questions, research the candidate’s answers, and present that information in a factual way that people can understand…if a candidate is as much of a poltergeist as Romney is, the press should say so emphatically.

See, the problem is that this isn’t a football game or a sporting event where we remember the winner, but there aren’t any real consequences.  If the Giants win the World Series, sure I’ll be happy, but it won’t change my life or the direction of the nation in any way at all.  But if Romney wins, or for that matter Obama, there are certainly going to be consequences, and those consequences will certainly effect the lives of every American in a very tangible way.  Why this is lost, in of all places, the American media, which is capable of finding meaning in a deep fried Twinkie, is baffling, and their abdication of responsibility in this regard is stunningly and deeply unethical.

Why do they do it?  Ratings of course.  They want a horserace.  We have an election system where the highest bidder has the best chance to win, and they want to make sure both sides empty their pockets.  How do you make sure that happens?  Describe the race as being a dead heat, which they’ll tell you time and again at the top and bottom of the hour.

The truth, and friends take heart, is that Obama will most likely win, because the chances that Romney can win Ohio and virtually every other swing state is highly improbable.  This is why Nate Silver, the lead statistician at 538, gives Obama a 70% chance of winning this November.  Of course, that’s a lie according to conservatives, because Nate Silver works for the New York Times, which as everyone knows, always lies to make sure Democrats win elections.  More on this in a second.

But the press doesn’t want you to hear what Nate Silver has to say, because that means you might not watch Fox News, or MSNBC, or whatever, showing that the American press is deeply biased; not liberal or conservative, but like most rational biases, purely out of self-interest.

On a slightly different note, I find this election deeply disturbing, and it makes me question whether Democracy in this country is dead.  Because, despite Romney nakedly changing critical positions in order to win this election, his base still supports him, and the press won’t cover it.  Which begs the question: what would the Republican Party have to do in order to lose the support of the people who vote for them?  What act would be so heinous as to jolt these voters out of their emotional belief that all evil emanates from the Democratic Party, and that every Republican is a good person who is virtuously striving for freedom and justice?

Frankly, I don’t know if such an act exists, especially if Republican voters are willing to believe a simple, naked lie told to cover it up.  After all, if I can cheat you, lie about it, and you’ll always believe me, then…see where this is going?  Therein lies the dilemma, pointed out so well by my conservative friend today on an E-card: “Your relentless political Facebook posts finally turned me around to your way of thinking…Said nobody, ever.”

Sure, it’s funny, but if that is really true, then Democracy ceases to function.  I generally vote for Democrats, but I know that some are crooks, and that they’ve done some things that didn’t work.  Conversely, I also know that there are good Republicans out there, and that they’ve indeed done some great things for our country.  The problem is I don’t think we’d get the same rational admission from the other side.  At this point I feel there truly is no argument, no fact, act, or reason that I can give Republican voters to change their mind, whether it’s appealing to emotion, reason, science, religion, etc.  The answer is always the same: Obama is the worst person ever who’s responsible for all of America’s ills, and there’s nothing you can do to make me believe otherwise, even if I’m your friend and you’re telling me God’s honest truth.

What hope is there for Democracy in such circumstances?  What is the point of electing our government if we can’t even use reasons, facts, and ethics to choose the best people to represent us?

About The Author: Jay Scott

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