Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Obama, Wright, Media

Yes, I'm sick and tired of hearing about the Rev. Wright. It isn't as though I don't have some sympathy with what he's said, I'm just tired of it. Rev. Wright was Barack Obama's pastor, not his puppeteer. I, and America, have gotten the idea - the Rev. Wright did some plain speaking that wasn't political. Do we move on now or is this it, the qualification for the Presidency is whether Rev. Wright is your pastor or not?

Has the Reverend been out of the news in the last month? If he has I must have missed it. Has any attention been paid to the hate monger preachers McCain sought out for endorsers? Perhaps somebody might have paid some attention to the bunch in Hillary's little DC prayer group and what they stand for. Is it a conspiracy against Obama?


It's not a conspiracy it is a matter of conflict. The media is all about interest, viewer interest and nothing excites interest like a conflict. How many elements does this story have? It has religion, race, personal connections, and political conflict. How could the media leave it alone? This isn't about bringing Obama down, it is about ratings going up. Now playing on a screen near you...

Hillary's connection with a rather difficult group hasn't been made into an issue, it would take work to get it into the public consciousness, Wright was ready made thanks to Utube - no muss, no fuss. McCain has no credible opposition at this point, not within his Party and only as a side issue with Clinton/Obama so there's no interest. By the time there is an opposition; the nut case endorsements will be really old news. Wright has the added benefit of making himself fresh news lately.

Race and religion and even sexism are nearly taboo subjects unless there is a way to make it a piece of a conflict that is public. Wright was made public and then we were off to the races. Sexism got to be news when some folks were stupidly rude to Hillary Clinton, publicly. McCain has been all over the place on religious issues, from agents of intolerance to hugs for bigots but one set of questions with two answers sufficed. There might have been conflict if the Protectorate of Catholicism Donahue weren't a right wing nut job, but attacking a Republican for having an endorsement from an anti-Catholic bigot is self-defeating, nobody to start a fight leaves the media in the position of having to start one itself; which is clearly evidence of a liberal elitist media.

Media is conflict averse in regards to itself, it certainly doesn't want to offend power and lose access. It certainly doesn't want to seem to not 'support' the troops and be perceived as unpatriotic by questioning the mission. No religious group can be offended, except in passing - you know, scanty clothing and promiscuity, but certainly not in regard to their Books. Races must somehow be treated even handedly, unless of course there is a public issue, say a black preacher saying things that white Republicans don't like, never mind if a white preacher says things as ludicrous and is as politically involved. Would it defuse the religious race issue if we could run an Asian atheist? Well, maybe an Asian but no way an atheist, that would really ignite conflict.

Those looking for a corporatist bad guy in the OWM (see title) are looking way too hard. That would involve issues demonstrating just how badly most of America is screwed over by a tiny minority of plutocrats. None of the candidates are a threat to that group, so they're safe. It is us who are the bad guys in this equation, or at least the media's perception of us. The real problem is that we do so much to earn their disdain. If the 'net is supposed to be the alternative media, the new fresh thing, check it for this topic. Oh, you noticed the title - again?

OWM isn't going to go away, McCain is going to mine it, Hillary is going to mine it as long as it has traction. Traction with us. If Hillary and McCain mine it for that reason the media is going to run with it because we're paying attention. Attention is paid because attention is paid, the loop feeds itself and that continues while we continue to play the game. Perhaps the question really isn't what the media is up to, but what are we up to? It is certainly true that the Republican base doesn't care to question the Democrats rationally, they want flag pins and when they aren't laughed off the stage of media, it continues; but Democrats could play it a bit differently in their Primary. Could is the operative word. If you think it's going to happen, go read pro-Hillary sites and comments.

Expecting the media to surpass our behavior is blaming a car for drunk driving. The media has not made us stupid, we have encouraged it to treat us that way. The media doesn't show us impossible bodies with impossible faces because it wants us to look at that, it does so because we've proven it is what we want to see. If you look at a TV screen and see a monster, you are seeing a reflection of our culture, not its creator. OWM is us, sadly enough.

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