April 17, 2008
Edward R. Murrow must be turning over in his grave. The once proud fourth estate has been so severely compromised that it virtually serves no purpose other than to assist corporate America continue it’s stranglehold on the republic that once was the United States of America. I have lamented for years now from this column the abuses of the corporate media. The deterioration of the media under the Bush administration has been beyond palpable. Deregulation has allowed near monopolistic situations as media no longer reports the news; it packages the news. We have seen the Jeff Gannon’s of the world erode the validity of the press and fake news spots being produced by the government to convince you that what their opinion is, is really objective reporting. In the last two presidential elections we saw how powerful the corporate media could be. In 2000 we saw the media turn Al Gore into a liar, when in every case the alleged lies were a fabrication of the right wing echo chamber. Bush was given a free pass in the debates by the press who turned the election into a contest of who you would rather have a beer with. In 2004 we saw the corporate media turn Howard Dean into the scream, torpedoing his electoral hopes. Then we saw the “reporting” of the swift boat nonsense as John Kerry, a war hero, was turned into Benedict Arnold. Conversely, Bush was again given a free pass even though he was soundly trounced by Kerry in every debate. Instead of talking about Iraq, we were talking about pictures of John Kerry windsurfing and how that must mean he is out of touch with mainstream America. Fast forward to 2008 and we saw a fake news network be allowed to host republican presidential debates. The result was nothing more than an hour and a half of right wing propaganda being presented as legitimate presidential issues. I thought that the corporate media could go no lower. Then I watched last night’s debate on ABC.
You could see who was paying the bills from the first “question” last night. Both candidates were asked to “fight until the end for every delegate” and then agree to put the other on the ticket as VP. Now, who would benefit the most from the democratic primaries being dragged out until the last delegate is counted? John McCain of course. This pseudo-question unfortunately was only the beginning of the onslaught against the collective intelligence of this country. From that point on it became obvious that the agenda for the evening was to do as much damage to Barack Obama as possible. Why you might ask? Two strategic reasons. The first reason is to continue the democratic primaries as long as possible because as outlined, it only helps John McCain. Hillary is trailing and trailing badly. By hurting Obama, perhaps Hillary’s chances get propped up and the primaries can continue as they beat each other up while McCain tours Iraq. The secondary reason is that the machine does not want Obama as the democratic candidate. Hillary is more owned and closer to Bush than Obama ever would be. By ensuring it is Hillary-McCain the machine knows it will be a choice of Bush on steroids versus Bush Lite. An Obama candidacy would present a far bigger challenge for the GOP and Diebold. Want proof?
Here are some of the “questions” asked of Barack Obama last night:
1) Talking to a closed-door fundraiser in San Francisco 10 days ago, you got talking in California about small-town Pennsylvanians who have had tough economic times in recent years. And you said they get bitter, and they cling to guns or they cling to their religion or they cling to antipathy toward people who are not like them. Now, you've said you misspoke; you said you mangled what it was you wanted to say. But we've talked to a lot of voters. Do you understand that some people in this state find that patronizing and think that you said actually what you meant?
Who is writing this question Sean Hannity? First of all, it is not what Obama said. He said that people in small town America often vote against their economic interests and instead cling to religion etal. The last two lines of the question are actually republican talking points! The “question” essentially accuses Obama of being patronizing and a liar! Then the moderator allowed Senator Clinton to “weigh in” on the bashing of her opponent!
2) The next two questions to Clinton ask her if she thinks Obama can actually beat John McCain. That is followed by asking Obama is he thinks Clinton can beat McCain. Is this a presidential debate or an infomercial selling us on how electable John McCain is?3) Senator Obama, since you last debated, you made a significant speech in this building on the subject of race and your former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. And you said subsequent to giving that speech that you never heard him say from the pulpit the kinds of things that so have offended people. But more than a year ago, you rescinded the invitation to him to attend the event when you announced your candidacy. He was to give the invocation. And according to the reverend, I'm quoting him; you said to him, "You can get kind of rough in sermons. So what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public." I'm quoting the reverend. But what did you know about his statements that caused you to rescind that invitation? And if you knew he got rough in sermons, why did it take you more than a year to publicly disassociate yourself from his remarks?
Flogging the dead horse issue that is Jeremiah Wright. Not a question about the economy, Iraq, or anything relevant to the election. Instead, more right-wingnut talking points regurgitated by shills posing as journalists.
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