Wednesday, September 17, 2008

She didn't, but maybe you should

She certainly didn't blink. And neither did he.  So it seems, McCain and Palin were meant to be--or at least that's what they'd like us to believe. What's the deal--where is the demand for a star-crossed dream-team stemming from? 

Public, er, consumer interest, perhaps.

Patrick Healy, noted in this weeks New York Times that the euphemisms favored in past elections are something of a relic this time around.  The
big guns have been drawn, and the "flip flops" and slip ups that peppered past elections are now being called out as outright lies.  In the same article, Fred Greestein, author of Personality and Politics, suggests lying to be "a matter of course," after all, "...each side does truly see the other side as lying." Speaking in absolutes, who's to question your superiority while the other is down for the count? 

Similarly, "[the campaign's] larger aim," suggests Frank Rich in his column this week, "is to construct a bogus alternative reality so relentless it can overwhelm any haphazard journalist stabs at puncturing it."  So strong and solid in foundation, they want us to believe, it will take more than a heavy blow to topple.  

So hey, why not keep playing this game? More than ever are discontented with the current political situation--a little steady ground to stand on couldn't hurt.  We want to a candidate who "knows," who can give us a little certainty.  But with nearly two thirds of the country's households tuning in to campaign coverage, it seems that more people than ever are tuning to
the media for their news.  While the candidates righteousness, if you will, is great for ratings, I can't help but wonder if viewers know what they are really seeing.  Maybe we could all use a reminder to blink.

1 comment:

M. Dery said...

Not sure I follow the arc of your argument. (BTW, first link goes to YouTube mainpage, not to video in question.) You wonder where "the demand for a star-crossed dreamteam" is coming from (why "star-crossed," I wonder? Are they doomed? If so, why?), then toss that question aside unanswered and take up the entirely unrelated question of the political culture of lying and the media's role as truth squad. You tell us that the newsmedia is Fact Checking Their Asses, as they say in the blogosphere, calling politicians to account in a way they presumably have not been called to account in recent years. Then you pull a U-turn by asking, rhetorically, "Who's to question your superiority while the other is down for the count?" Answer: the media. You've just told us that. Or am I not understanding your point? Also, I'm confused by your assertion, following Rich, that each campaign is constructing a media reality "so strong and solid in foundation" that "it will take more than a heavy blow to topple." How can a cloud of media simulacra be "solid in foundation"? Isn't it by definition founded on spin, disinformation, and outright lying? More to the point, didn't you just tell us, in your first graph, that the press has roused itself from its recent torpor and assumed its watchdog role, which involves doing just that---landing the heavy blow of demonstrable fact that will topple the house of fabrications? I'm all confused.