Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FAIR's Top Ten (this one goes to eleven)

FAIR released a Media Advisory yesterday titled "Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign '08." Were they not such elite liberal media snobs, they could easily have opted for the more crass, less alliterative, equally accurate "Bullshit Narratives '08." It's an excellent rundown, in FAIR's typically thorough style, of the dominant and disingenuous strands of spin the corporate-owned media is weaving.

I have some favorites. Skip right past #1, John McCain as Maverick, and you arrive at Obama as Elitist. This has been one of the most puzzling to me. Apparently, because McCain, born into Naval royalty and currently living in seven houses purchased with the money Joe SixPack dumps into his wife's purse, is kind of an asshole, and Obama, who was raised by a single (mostly) mother and worked as a community organizer, is both eloquent and humble, McCain "gets us" and Obama is "out of touch."

Hey, America, just because McCain reminds you of your skirt-chasin', gamblin', angry buddies doesn't mean he gives a shit about or understands you. Did you learn nothing from wanting to have a beer with W?

I'm also quite fond of #5, Shifting to the Right is "Good Politics." I actually, unfairly, blame the Green Party for the continuing existence of this trope. Because they insist on trying to be relevant in the national elections, something they were given premature access to with Nadar's two reasonable showings in how many tries, they essentially chop off the most progressive end of the Democratic Party. Tactically, if Obama isn't going to get McKinney supporters votes, it could be justified to say the smart move is a slight Right shift, hoping to capture more at the Center to compensate for what is lost on the Left. Still bullshit, but reasonable or at least arguable given the tenor of the discourse.

(And, listen before I get a bunch of flak from angry Greenies, my personal political views align more closely with the Green Party than the Democrats. Yes, I believe we need multi-party national elections, absolutely. I just don't think the Greens are there yet. The last 16 years have polarized the political landscape, and there is too much at stake in any given national election - I don't have time for the preciousness of your ideals, not in this climate. Stop going on AirAmerica and taking shots at Obama - you'll be gladly welcomed back after the election and encouraged to push him hard for the Progressive agenda. For now, push for run-off voting, get more state and local officials elected, demand media access for your candidates. When the Green Party is strong enough to take a seat at the national table, instead of shrill squeaks resplendent with "should" that amount to a request, please, for perhaps a seat, then and only then will it be time.)

Ooh, and #9, False Balance, is one to keep an especial eye out for these last two weeks. As McCain/Palin continues to flail and blunder, mounting ever more desperate and dubious attacks, the corporate media will continue to try and level the field. They, remember, have the most to gain from a down-to-the-wire horse race.

And, besides, should the seventh seal be broken and McCain actually wins, they don't want to get thrown off the plane.


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Jay Carney gets a seat. I think they're now measuring media reps by their "hottness" factor and poor Joe Klein fails.

Deni said...

Oh man, instant run-off balloting is my number one issue for changes to election law, slightly ahead of aboloshing the electoral college.

the beige one said...

From #6 - Obama Wins, Sharpton/Jackson Lose:

ABC pundit George Will (Nightline, 1/3/08) said after Obama's Iowa caucus victory, "The big losers, two big losers tonight are probably Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, representative of those who have a sort of investment in the traditional and, I believe, utterly exhausted narrative about race relations in the United States."

Uhm, what? The latter half of this assertion definitely falls apart after Will's reaction to Powell this last weekend.

I will stop here, though I will suggest that the only thing "utterly exhausted" about this narrative is Will's skinny melanin-challenged behind.