Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary

Campaign Rhetoric: Baloney disguised as food for thought

Branding, bantering, pandering: Election time is heaven for media types. Newspapers love it because it gives them something to write about rather than the mundane topics such as murders, rapes, robberies, and lootings. TV and radio love it because political ads bolster their budget. Pundits love it because finally they get a few rating points, and wannabe pundits love it because it gives them a chance to get their sometimes not so pretty faces before the camera. Trite expressions are coined by a particular media person and spread like wildfire among their fellow spreaders of gossip. “Branding” is the latest term. Watch for its use among bantering, pandering pundits.

Why we see sound bites instead of issues: Let’s face it. The American public is just not sophisticated. Karl Rove figured that out and put a dodo in office twice with the help of plenty of form and little substance. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and the like figured that out and are making millions providing the unwashed remote-toting masses with items that have to do with parsing words rather than examining issues. ABC News produced the George and Charlie Comedy Hour and passed it off as a debate. And the Average American thrived on it. A man’s preacher is more important than the Iraq war. A female candidate’s cry is more important than the economic perils of the country. Whether or not a candidate wears a lapel pin determines his patriotism while 4,000 dead troops are mentioned only in passing and tens of thousands of maimed soldiers and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis get hardly a mention. No wonder American Idol feeds the American Idle.

Pillory Hillary, Bury Barry, Attack Mack: That is not to say the candidates can’t get sucked into the eddy of mundane verbosity. Of the three front runners only Senator McCain has the temerity to say “Screw you” to an obnoxious little twerp of a pundit who would ask an out-of-bounds unrelated non-issue question. Hillary would not answer the question but respond with why she is the best candidate running and Obama would respond with a clear cut analysis of the question and a well thought-out logical response. Hannity would say that Obama’s response has racial overtones, and O’Reilly would say that McCain is the only one with cajones (look it up in your Spanish-English dictionary), and Saturday Night Live will spoof Hillary’s answer.

For whom doth lie a victory: Today is the culmination to six weeks of being inundated with news media that has enriched their coffers by millions. Some pundits say if Hillary does not win PA by a substantial margin it is curtains for her. Others say Obama might pull an upset given the vote of the young people. As for Senator McCain, he is probably sitting in a cabana by a swimming pool, lovely young wealthy wife at his side, enjoying a Mai Tai and reading some book or other – perhaps “101 Ways to Ignore the Media.”

A little blogging music Maestro... Today why not do the University of Michigan fight song, “Hail to the Victors!”

Dr. Forgot

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