Permalection

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.

7 Replies to “Permalection”

  1. I completely agree. And you probably already know that it’s nearly impossible to find out what candidates stand for. You mentioned how their positions are not reported on the “news.” Good luck even find their positions on the candidates’ own web sites! You are right that it is more like American Idol than a democratic process. It’s frustrating, to say the least.

  2. amen, brother. even when a politician appears on a political tv show and is asked a yes-or-no question, he/she rephrases the question in their answer to avoid stating a yes-or-no position on the issue. good lord–we can’t even debate anything anymore. it’s just about who has better hair. (and you know by just looking at me that i don’t care a rat’s hindparts about hair. :D)

  3. Amen. I was listening to NPR on the commute home tonight; even they felt it necessary to mention how any declared/undeclared/wannabe’s position on the resolution against the Iraq “surge” would impact their declared/undeclared/wannabe presidential prospects.

    I found the weather and traffic on the local news station much more timely and useful.

    -k-

  4. “…New media pioneer David Slusher refused to rule our a run for office in 2008, suggesting that a sighting of airborne swine would be sufficient grounds for him to enter the presidential race…”

  5. I actually yelled out loud at the TV when I saw that highlight: “Jeff Greenfield, you should be ashamed of yourself!”

    Of course, I’m stewing in this crap all day at work. Fortunately I don’t have to watch and generally there’s no sound leaks into my airspace, but I still have to run the gantlet every time I walk somewhere else in the building.

    And this might be small comfort, but the reason there’s so much coverage right now is because generally all the candidates need to declare themselves by the end of February. So there’s lots of maneuvering for issues (and money) right now. It might calm down after Feb. Then again, CNN’s holding a debate in April so they’ll likely hype the crap out of that for weeks prior.

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