Electoral Politics in America
America's electoral process is broken.
by Stephen Lendman
He said, she said, who's ahead, who's behind discourse dominates political reporting. As a result, issues go unaddressed. People are left uninformed in the dark. Media scoundrels focus on popularity, not competence, and what readers and viewers most need to know.
Horse race journalism describes the process. It tells people everything except what's vital to their interests and welfare. Thomas Patterson called it a "quiet revolution" in election reporting. It developed over decades.
"(G)ame schema" framing elections in terms of strategy and political success rose from 45% in 1960 to over 80% in 1992. In contrast, coverage of policy and leadership dropped from 50% in 1960 to 10% in 1992.
In 2000, other analyses confirmed horse race reporting. Strategy accounted for over 70% of stories. In 2007's first five months, it dominated 63% of print and TV stories, compared to 15% on issues and proposals, and only 1% on candidates' past public performance.
Major media news and opinion are managed. Vital information's suppressed. A truth emergency leaves people uninformed on major issues and candidates' positions on them.