Friday, February 8, 2008

Now You Too Can Think Just Like the Mainstream Press!

"Facts are stupid things."
- Ronald Reagan, Former U.S. President

While it’s difficult for me to pick a new presidential candidate, it’s easy for the press. They are all very busy these days telling us just how easy it is. They are also busy telling us what we should think about the candidates, so that it will be easy for us too. Perhaps it’s time, then, that I help them out. So I’ve thoughtfully provided the following EZ list of stuff to think, according to the mainstream US press. So save yourself some time. Ignore mainstream news and just memorize this handy list.

My own smart-ass comments follow in parentheses.

* McCain stands for HONESTY. Clinton stands for COMPETENCY. Obama stands for HOPE. (I wish they would just get t-shirts with the words on them. That would save us from most of the “political analysis” we have to otherwise endure.)

* Clinton and McCain stand for the OLD. Obama stands for the NEW. (That is, Hillary and JM have reached their pull dates. When will you reach yours, or have you already? Or do you imagine yourself exempt from such judgments? But it’s good to know that we’re all just products – it gives me a nice, democratic feeling of unity with the rich and famous.)

* The candidates are all pretty much identical. (Yep. The press also convinced us there was little difference between Al Gore and GW Bush. Thanks US press.)

* There was sexism in the campaign, but the press stopped it. Now they avoid discussing what Hillary wears and they rat out anyone else who mentions it. (Yep, now we've finally defeated sexism in the world, since that's all that was left of it. We women want to be paid less and given fewer opportunities by choice, apparently, but when somebody comments on our clothes, by gosh, those are fighting words!)

* If anyone says someone is racist, they are racist. (This is very different from a witch hunt. If it were a witch hunt, we would say “they are witches”! It is very different from a witch hunt.)

* We should pick the next President based on the impression created by their public performances. Does Hillary seem trustworthy when she says something? Does Barack seem sincere when he says something? Does McCain seem friendly when he says something? (What candidates say is actually quite unimportant. Let’s see, who have we elected lately based on the same theory?)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Who Moved My Candidate?

Dartmouth Debates

HANOVER, NH - SEPTEMBER 26: Democratic Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton appear with unidentifed bystanders.

My candidate was John Edwards, so the answer to my question is obvious. The press, and network news in particular, ignored Edwards right out of the race. As I look back on their performance, I’ll always cherish, in particular, two memories of Edwards’ press coverage. The first occurred after the Iowa caucus where Edwards placed second. The news commentators mentioned briefly that he was second and then moved quickly on to the real story: an analysis of the contest between Obama and Clinton. The second magic moment was just after the debate preceding the critical New Hampshire primary. Commentators mentioned briefly that Edwards seemed to have the best and most moving performance in the debate, and then moved quickly on to the real story: an analysis of the contest between Obama and Clinton. I’m not talking about FOX news here either. The major networks consistently ignored Edwards, and even most PBS programs seemed to fall into lockstep with this agenda. And I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb when I say that it’s harder to get votes when the television news organizations don’t seem to notice you’re in the race.

However, since I still believe that this election is of major importance to the future of our country, I need to pick some other candidate to back for president now that Edwards has dropped out. I realize this announcement will send many campaign organizations scurrying to hustle my support, but just to let them know: I won’t send off my $25 contributions or cast my pointless vote in the Oregon primary or the general election for just anyone. It will be a tough call to make, since I like all the remaining major candidates.

So how to decide? Since I’m a Democrat, I’ll need to pick between Obama and Clinton before the primary, but for the final election I’ll consider the Republican candidates too. That leaves a lot of candidates to choose from. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Time permitting, I would like to eventually write some more about the Missing Candidates on both sides. I want to discuss Edwards’ candidacy some more, and also people like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich (if Edwards was ignored by the press, Kucinich was brutalized and buried by them). The race won’t be the same without the Missing, although the TV news, predictably, barely noticed they’re gone. Since you won’t hear it from a network news show, I’ll state the obvious. What’s missing along with them is our right as voters to pick the candidates who go on to the final primaries. Does anyone really think the press is qualified to decide for us?