The skeleton shelf: how the media chooses who loses

Amen.

We the people are under fire from corporate media. Their intent is uncertain, but whether for indiscriminate profit or intentional distraction, media sources are bombarding us with smoke bombs of emotion, which steadily stupefy the American voter.

Take Jeremiah Wright, for example. We are asked to listen to a prominent preacher shout obscenities about our country, and we experience a sense of shock, which naturally turns to curiosity. It is democratic, as well as human, to desire an explantion for any loud display of emotion. The news and pundits, however, never satisfy the public’s curiosity. Network presents clip A to evoke audience emotion B, and network stifles curiosity C by jack-hammering emotion B endlessly into the skulls of audience, until curiosity C disappears, and portions of democratic process and human reason disappear with it. Giving a reasoned explanation of events might diminish dramatic effect and bore the audience, or even cause them to commiserate, where it was intended they should repugn. Whether or not Wright had good reason to shout, his brief exclamations should not have been tossed out nakedly. Corporate news websites provide links to the audio or video of the incendiary bits, but even with their unrestricted format, they rarely (if ever) offer full text of Reverend Wright’s sermons, even though the whole speech is, by definition, a better reflection of character than any one part.

With Wright’s clippings and others like them, corporate media control voters. Wright is just one example of many, in which the media manipulates the voting public using emotional reactions, in this case disenfranchising Barack Obama voters. In truth, every candidate has a pastor Wright–an unseemly, destructive skeleton, of which the media is well aware. There is little doubt that networks could fill entire shelves with “guilt-by-association” files of the remaining three candidates but, thus far, they have chosen to explore only one at any length whatsoever.

We have heard the names “Jeremiah Wright” and “Bill Ayres” over and over again in recent weeks. These two toxic Obama associations are invoked day and evening on network and cable news, and talk radio. Corporate media chooses who will be our president–or rather, who will not be our President–and something about Obama does not sit well with them. It is difficult to identify Obama’s fatal flaw: it could be that he does not properly fear the corporate sponsors; it could be that his thoughts are too independent and unpredictable; it could be that another candidate would bring better profit margins to the right corporations–there is one thing that absolutely is not the reason for Barack Obama’s downfall: his pastor is too outspokenly “anti.”

For those who believe some candidate has no associations like Obama’s, let facts be revealed to a candid world:

Charles H. Keating, Jr. – responsible for fraud and bailouts that cost taxpayers and savers billions in the late 1980s, and John McCain derailed investigation proceedings because Keating had donated a substantial sum to McCain’s campaign. Keating was eventually convicted of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. The mainstream press has not harped on this story. Why?

Rod Parsley – John McCain calls this man his “spiritual guide,” which sounds familiar to anyone who has heard prevailing Reverend Wright rhetoric. He is a critic of Islam, stating he does “not believe that our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed.” While Obama’s preacher is held under the fire, McCain’s preacher seems to be getting a pass. Curious, no?

Bill Clinton – Hillary Clinton calls this man “my husband.” How have the darker sides of the Billary saga escaped notice throughout the campaign?

I heard almost two years back that “the fix is in for Hillary,” and I did not believe it at the time, but now I am starting to reconsider.  It is probably true that, had the media spent the last three weeks talking about Bill Clinton’s escapades instead of Barack Obama’s preacher, the Democrat Party’s primary would already be over.  If “the fix is in for Hillary,” then I imagine the Keating Five will become a huge story this autumn–the contrived amnesia of corporate media will suddenly subside, revealing fraudulent bailouts and stalled investigations, and all of McCain’s dirty little secrets.  It will be worn out week after week until you simply can’t consider voting for the man.

If there is a “fix,” who does the fixing?  Who decides what dirt makes the news once, and what dirt is reported over and over and over again?  It’s not the shows’ hosts, or even directors or producers–they’re all worried about making the show seem professional yet unrehearsed–so who?  Here’s a clue: follow the money–follow it all the way back to General Electric, Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom, etc.  We should all have learned from the false premises of the Iraq War, that profit margins are the root causes of almost every big decision made in the United States today, and that a lie that helps stockholders is easily forgiven.

Regardless of which candidate is on the receiving end of tireless mudslinging, the democratic process is always the real loser, because voters stop basing their votes on policy positions. Of course, this miserable result matches corporate media’s miserable intent. If Americans voted based on policy positions, politicians might stop supporting these corporations’ monopolistic advantages in the U.S. market, which is plainly bad for business.

A democracy’s success depends on the rational and informed voting decisions of its citizens, but our contemporary media’s most notable gifts to society are misinformation and irrationality.  Essentially, our media and our democratic republic are fundamentally at odds with one another, and one of them will have to adapt in order to survive. For the sake of my country I hope–though with limited faith–that the media will do the changing, and the republic will survive.

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2 Responses

  1. Simply brillaint, Rider: right on target. The 24/7 soundbite analysis is a smokescreen lest the people begin debating the actual substance of the reverend’s rants. And indeed, let’s follow the corporate money trail and cui bono.

  2. […] 29, 2008 By Rideronthet ∙ Fear is Tyranny ∙ April 24, […]

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