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Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

new_sheepLast night I was trying to find the latest news on Barack Obama’s cabinet appointments, when I ventured to the front page of the CNNPolitics.com, and was thoroughly annoyed by the headline they’d placed atop all the others: “Is Romney the Man to Save GOP in 2012?”

This is not news now, and might not even be news later. Something that may or may not happen four years from now is not a current event. Yet, there it is, the top story at CNN.

Presidential elections in this country now last for over half the length of a sitting president’s term. The 2008 elections are barely a week behind us, and already we’re blitzed with speculation and hearsay about what’s in store for 2012. Perhaps Americans wouldn’t be so economically screwed today if, back in 2004, when the mortgage crisis was still avoidable, our citizens been less concerned about when Hillary would officially announce her future plans to run for President?

As unprofessional as our friends in the mainstream media have been, the “dumbing down” of the news is as much our fault as it is theirs. They are, after all, in the business of making money. The higher their ratings soar, the easier it is to find sponsors willing to pay to advertise during their programs. That means what we see on the so-called “news” is a function of what we most desire to see—and not a reflection of what is important. If, collectively, we were more informed, we’d be outraged over the fact that this bullshit passes as newsworthy. We’d cry out for details about Blackwater shadiness, or about the growing U.S.-Pakistan conflict. Were we an engaged citizenry, our sneaky Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wouldn’t have gotten away with his $140 billion gift to banks, courtesy of taxpayers.

In fact, fuck it; I’m deleting CNN.com from my Mozilla bookmark icons. For too long I’ve let that network remain my “most trusted source” of Internet news every morning, the site I check when time only permits me to check one. As MSNBC leans Leftward and Fox News bends unapologetically back toward the Right, many viewers remain convinced (as I was until recently) of CNN’s fairness and neutrality. Is that because they dump on all U.S. presidential candidates equally? Of course, nearly all my early assumptions about media bias were misguided or wrong, starting with the premise that “news” should be considered “objective” and “fair” so long as it doesn’t clearly favor one major political party over the other. That might have made sense; but only if all possible worldviews and political stances were covered by one major political party or the other.

But another imbalance exists, taking the form of an apparent consensus, by all mainstream news channels, to over-report on the presidential race and under-report on everything else. That’s where the real bias lives. They do it because they’re lazy and self-absorbed; they get away with it because, so are we.  Far from being fed up with these overblown non-stories, we rather prefer to read trumped up rumors about John McCain’s mental health fluctuations or Barack Obama’s scandalous adolescent acquaintanceships—while American wars persist on multiple fronts and our economy continues to crumble.

I don’t mean to imply that election outcomes are not important. But the day-to-day gossip mill that churned out pages of useless trivia about different spats among presidential hopefuls is not (as CNN would have you assume) the most pressing news event on any given day.

ashley-dupre-spitzers-prostitute2So engrossed were we in our own insular political sideshows that it barely registered when noteworthy events occurred outside of U.S. borders. So, if you’re from one of those countries that are having a crappy decade, please pardon our outward indifference to your plight. We have no idea what’s happened in the world these last two years. We missed it all, or tried to. Eliot Spitzer’s prostitute’s sucky MySpace songs got more play than genocide in Sudan, the Cyclone Nargis, and the Sichuan Earthquake combined.

The hyping and overmarketing of presidential campaigns lets the media to ignore the crucial or controversial news stories. This is good for the media because it can refrain from reporting real-life news that might aggravate their sponsors. And while this is problematic on their part, we viewers give them an excuse by reinforcing the notion that we care more about the presidential race than we do about other important happenings in the world today. That we care more and more about the presidential rumor mill means we care less—or not at all—about Congress passing some obscure, quickly buried bill that will allow domestic spying or torture. We care more about which presidential candidate’s religious affiliates offended which rich white person today.

Rather than solely condemn CNN and Fox News for the stories they choose or refuse to supply, one might blame the American citizens for our own spoiled ignorance and the information we do or do not demand.

As a result of the media’s failure to cover stories outside the soap opera, any sly scumbag with aspirations to cheat, swindle or manipulate large majorities of people knows to wait until election season to do it. Alas, perhaps that’s why the next campaign season is starting before our wet-behind-the-ear President Elect even knows who his Secretary of State is.

Still, there are some who saw and see nothing wrong with the saturation of Election ’08 coverage. They believe they need to mull over the vibes they get from the candidates, and that requires constant surveillance. As long as we crave that overconsumption, CNN will happily pour provide it; see which comes up with the goofiest Freudian slip; inspect their medical records; condemn the drugs they did in high school; make sure the male candidates don’t act too flamboyant; make sure the women are both feminine and sufficiently masculine; evaluate their acquaintances; insist they ditch the ones we deem too rude.

It’s a tough job—being an American citizen, juggling so many pertinent subplots at once. But we’re happy to do it, because we are “the American people”, whose honorable character is exceptional in every respect. All we ask is that there are no distractions as we’re diligently scrutinizing our candidates; our mainstream media must never burden us with trivial headlines, like:

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I know jack shit

There’s no excuse anymore for those of you who aren’t sufficiently pissed off. Rupert Murdock apparently considers the quasi-awake public expendable, an insignificant contingency. Too engaged as citizens and too critical as consumers, we the perceptive minority have little to offer Fox these days. When we do tune in, it’s only for the cheap adrenalin buzz it gives us to bitch about Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. So alas Fox News bids adieu to the last of their informed viewers.

Now, absent the threat of any real accountability, Fox canpander more freely to its base–an eclectic blend of corporate sellouts and couch potato patriots–odd partners uniting to uproot democracy.  America’s spreading ignorance and acceptance of propaganda for power and profit. Thus it is now official that Fox is unconcerned about viewers whose IQs exceed their ages, banking on the majority of American viewers being too dumb to notice or too bored to care.

(more…)

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Democrats should not nominate Hillary Clinton, because she can’t be trusted and because she’s a woman.

There–I finally said it. For some time I’ve kept quiet about my conflicting inner dialogues about Hillary Clinton. But my desires to see anybody but Hillary get the Democratic nomination are not subsiding, thus I must now profess to my blogging friends (with whom I usually agree) that I believe Hillary wouldn’t be any better at the helm than somebody like John McCain. Several times I’ve contemplated coming out of the closet as an adamant Hillary-nonsupporter, but lately its been abundantly clear that my heart simply will not be in it, if I’m asked in 2008 to pose as someone who trusts Clinton.

woman president

But the statement I want to make is even more controversial than that, and I know it may infuriate the feminists in my discipline–many of whom would nominate Aileen Wuornos for President based on vagina points, serial-killer status not withstanding. I’m not speaking out against Hillary solely because I dislike and distrust her immensely and believe she’d make a hideous president; even if I didn’t perceive Clinton as a power-hungry phony, I still would hesitate to vote for her (in the Democratic primaries) because she’s a woman. That’s right, I said it–flip out feminism! Call me pejorative names if it helps you simplify the situation. (more…)

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If you’re running for president in this country, what does it take to get a major news network to STOP acknowledging you as an official candidate ?

First, announce that you refuse to make major decisions on behalf of corporations to the detriment of the American public. This will ensure that you see exactly none of the money that goes to Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, etc.

When this happens, unless you pretend to be completely oblivious or indifferent to your situation, you must point out on national TV that, as a result of being blackballed by the corporations you are being snubbed by the TV stations you can’t afford to pay off.

This will pretty much get the job done, as Mike Gravel has discovered. Today when five Democratic candidates announced they were blowing off the Michigan primaries and two (Chris Dodd and Clinton) announced they would stick it out, CNN made no mention whatsoever of Gravel’s plans. At first I thought Gravel had withdrawn altogether and I’d simply missed the announcement while wasting time in the intellectual wilderness that is academia. But, of all folks, FoxNews came threw with the news that Gravel had chosen to leave his name on the ballot for now.

I may write later about how this situation, whether you are Clinton, Dodd, Obama, Gravel, or the state of Michigan, represents a demonstration of calculated American opportunism at its best. But as C. Wright Mills might remind us, the political posturing of “The Power Elite” is nothing new. What is new is CNN suddenly doing a shittier job than Fox at hiding its shadiness and corruption. Are they really that pissed about his comments at the YouTube debates that they’re trying to convince people the guy doesn’t exist?

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The GOP’s position on YouTube

As if young voters needed further evidence, Republicans have shown once again how little regard they have for the future of our country. This time I’m not talking about their economic or environmental sloppiness–debts to society that Generations X and Y will someday be forced to repay. Those catastrophic blind spots aside, what pissed me off today was their blatant disregard for the future’s technology and the young people who have embraced it. (more…)

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t1homeromneysign3tmz.jpg

We knew they’d do it eventually. It was only a matter of time before conservatives played the “Osama ≈ Obama” card. I mean, what the hell–their names kinda rhyme, right? So why not go for it? If Republicans continuously remind people of this phonetic coincidence, maybe everyone will start seeing Barack Obama as an al-Qaeda mastermind.

The GOP has been eying this tacky maneuver for quite awhile.  I’m surprised they held out as long as they did. But like a dog drooling over a milk bone, Mitt Romney inevitably found the free shot too enticing not to take. Today Romney posed for a snapshot with a New Hampshire woman who was brandishing a sign that read: “No to Osama, Obama, and Chelsea’s Moma.”

Since the Republican candidate from Massachusetts had not himself painted the handmade sign, Romney apparently saw nothing wrong with his standing next to it grinning like a goofy dip-shit. (more…)

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