So we are two months out from the last election with twenty-two months until the next one, and 20% of the news I hear is about who is or will be running for president in 2008? Give me and my country a break. This is what it has come to now. We are in a permanent election cycle and as soon as one has been put to bed, on Wednesday morning we flip the year on the banners and keep right on going. That gives the whole democratic process a nice Survivor/American Idol type vibe and keeps everyone focused on the meta-process. This is of no use to the weary public, but gives the news machine more fodder to digest and poop back out.
The modern media loves nothing more than to report on the meta-story – which campaign is turning which wheels and why – and will always report that preferentially over meaningless stuff like, oh, what the candidate stands for. Having a talking head say “I think this will hurt their campaign” is the gold standard of this idiot style. Let’s analyze the derivative of the poll trends, who is rising, who is falling, oh what fun. Meanwhile, it takes a concerned voter hours of work to find out information like what the candidate plans to do when in office and what their record is. I can’t take it any more.
This is why I have turned off the cable news channels permanently, because they obsess over crap like this while avoiding actually reporting news of substance. Seeing (via the Daily Show) the piece Greenfield did about how Obama wears a suit jacket without a tie which he then pointed out was a similar fashion choice to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Good gravy. I wish there was something worse I could do than just not watch, like have a button that would occasionally send electrical shocks into the chairs of the people who write, present and approve this crap.