March 19, 2008
As we progress toward the election it is vital that we continue to monitor the corporate media and their blatant attempts to guide voters to maintain the horrific status quo we have seen for the past eight years. Double standards are the norm in the corporate media; as they seek to protect McCain and tear down the democratic candidates. We saw one example just this week as John McCain displayed how little he knows even about the vague cover stories being bantered around about Iran. For the uninformed, one of the accusations being leveled against Iran as a pretext to war is that they are training Shiite extremists to fuel the insurgency in Iraq. I will not discuss the veracity of that claim, as it reminds me of a certain WMD claim I heard a few years back. For the purposes of this discussion we will pretend the story is true.
That said, the republican presidential candidate stated three times in the past few days that “everyone knows” that Iran is training al Qaeda and sending them back into Iraq. In this grand chess game being played there is a substantial difference between al Qaeda and Shiite extremists. I want you to imagine for one minute what the reaction would have been if either Hillary or Obama had uttered such a misstatement. We would have been greeted with non-stop coverage of the gaffe. Their foreign policy experience would have been called into questioned. They would have been deemed “not ready” to be commander in chief. Don’t think so? Remember it was just a short while ago that Obama answered a hypothetical question about re-entering Iraq if he had pulled out and al Qaeda had cropped up again. Obama had answered “if al Qaeda was forming in Iraq I would…” After that, McCain jumped on Obama, playing him off as naïve because al Qaeda is already in Iraq. The missing piece of course was that McCain ignored the fact that Obama was answering a hypothetical. You expect that from a lying politician but the media turned it into questioning Obama’s bonafides when it comes to foreign policy and didn’t call McCain on the subterfuge.
Can you just picture the lead segment stories on every channel about the ignorance of Obama or Hillary if they couldn’t tell the difference between al Qaeda and Shiite extremists? Instead though it was McCain who claimed the gaffe was just a case of mis-speaking. That of course is ridiculous because McCain actually uttered it three different times. He said it twice in the interview and once the day before on a radio show. It was even more embarrassing for McCain because he actually had to be corrected by Joe Lieberman with the cameras rolling. Can you imagine the backlash if someone had to publicly correct Obama or Hillary in the middle of an interview? Yet here is our corporate media granting a free pass to McCain. The double standard is so palpable, it is sickening.
This is what we have to look forward to the next eight months. The media will prop up McCain whenever they have the opportunity and cast as much doubt on the democratic candidate as possible. They did it in 2004 by running the swift boat nonsense, even though it had been debunked. Bush was pummeled by Kerry in the first debate and the coverage was tepid at best. The second debate was another Kerry victory but because Bush “improved” the networks all fawned over his performance. That is what will play out in the coming months. They did it in 2000 as well where the clearly “in over his head” Bush was portrayed as folksy and a man of the people and Gore was cast typed as boorish and aloof (and eventually falsely branded a liar). Bush flat out lied in the 2000 debates claiming he had passed a patients bill of rights in Texas as governor. Bush omitted that the law passed without his signature as he refused to support it. The lie was never covered but Gore was hammered unmercifully about the Internet nonsense. Don’t think for a second that this didn’t play a factor in both elections.
History is beginning to repeat itself. The media is drawing the line around McCain and granting him a free pass on a subject that they would have crushed either Obama or Hillary on. They will play up McCain’s war hero status and ignore the fact that he was part of Keating Five. They will highlight his experience in the senate but ignore the recent flip flop on torture and the Bush tax cuts. Hopefully America will step up and realize that fool me once shame on me… fool me twice… we won’t get fooled again.