Saturday, September 06, 2008

Media Mind

It is election season alright. With the Democratic and Republican conventions behind us (I thought Obama was nominated last year sometime?) we can now move on only to hear those same stump speeches and identity politics debated and repeated over again on the lovely networks of NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, and I reluctantly include FOX News.

I have heard better minded folks advise watching conventions on C-Span which is gleefully devoid of bias and corporate advertising. With C-Span you see the speeches neither dressed up or slapped around. We are not under the influence of networks attempting to create a Narrative at the expense of the American people. C-Span has video archives of both the Democratic and Republican conventions. I urge you to take the time to watch the speeches from both conventions.

I asked my mom what she thought of Michelle Obama's speech during the Democratic National Convention and my mom said she liked it but that "[she] seemed like she was trying to rectify some of her previous comments."

This bugged me. Was she really referring to a fake narrative brought up by the McCain campaign and furthered by the Media? OK now, full disclosure: I support Barack Obama for President
(she has told me she does as well, outed ya mom!). Also, I am not paid to do so whatsoever. Money has this nasty little side effect of creating conflicts of interest. So what made her say this? Could my mom have possibly meant to say that a woman born in 1964 into a working class family who had the immense opportunity of being educated at our finest schools, hold prestigious executive positions, and raise two young girls with endless opportunities as their fingertips was not proud of her country or somehow anti-American? This sounds like a joke, I know.

I have unhealthily immersed myself in media coverage of the primaries and now the election. Some of it good, some often sad, and much of the time disgusting. What you do begin to notice, especially as November edges closer, is the lines are drawn a little sharper. The supposedly unbiased AP which has stories replicated in thousands of newspapers and television programs across the world is even getting in on the fun. David Brooks at the NY Times wrote some seemingly approving OP-Eds on Obama only now to go back where he belonged, Conservativeland. Now McCain is running a classic (old) campaign against the media. That sure has never happened before. The truth is that either side could run this campaign.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are voting in the next election do not let the TV talking heads make up your mind because they will. Turn off the TV. Read policy proposals. Look at the facts. Forget "liberal" or "right-wing". Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors about what is important to you in this election. There should be no shame in who you support. When I was growing up my parents, I think, would tell me that who they were voting for was a private, personal matter. I never understood this. You ought to be proud of who you support. You should also feel comfortable talking about why you support that candidate with anyone no matter their political inclination. Trading the time to educate yourself on who will run this country and decide our direction for the next 10+ years with, say, American Idol or any other waste of time should be a crime. That is the opposite of patriotism. American Idol is treason.

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