They Love to Make Others Lose
Over the last eight weeks as the Presidential “journalism” coverage increased I’ve watched with growing dismay a corresponding ineptness and base incompetence in the political reporting. A New York Times reporter absurdly states Jewish voters have been drifting to the right while there zero evidence of it, while a few days later another New York Times reporter cites harm from polling margin of error, but without citing the margin or even the base result if the poll. A USA Today reporter cannot inform the reader of a 20-10 Republican/Democrat ratio for veteran House candidates until 267 words into the story when the title in fact stated the ratio was the story, while Saturday a San Francisco Chronicle reporter blamed Michelle Obama for being the victim of racism.
These reporters and their editors are accomplished, experienced, educated Americans whose very livelihoods depend on their professional competence, but these errors are so base and stupid in nature bafflement is the only result; other departments like Sports and Business would never, ever tolerate errors like this, but when it comes to political reporting the American “journalism” ethos is to wallow in whatever gutter of enabling trash available: Jennifer Flowers, Whitewater, Swiftboating, Monica Lewinsky. To be a good American political reporter is to be tabloid, even as the rest of the paper is completely professional.
Here is it again, I say to myself, another American election and another crusade by the corporate American “journalism” profession to blatantly enable the Republicans in distraction, spin, misdirection, obfuscation, and often outright publication of propaganda and falsehood. That could be the only answer for the kind of sabotage-like thinking and reporting I’ve seen in the last eight weeks, word has come from on high for so many years to screw the Democrats every presidential election the profession now does it reflexively, they’re expected to be utterly terrible on politics so they simply are.
Of course focus here has been solely on print medium, a bubbling little mudpot of reeking incompetence compared to the roaring searing volcano of political propaganda spewing from American television political reporting, something I rarely subject my consciousness to, smile all y’all want, television is an extremely powerful medium of very insidious subtlety I’m very wary of.
That power, of course, is what makes it so dangerous when it’s full of lying gasbags, often supplied and paid for the Pentagon, it’s precisely how we as a country got to the point where 72% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein had a connection with 9/11. Here we are again in another election with the “idiot” (Atrios) and “painfully empty-headed” (Glenzilla) Charles Gibson stupidly passing along whatever distracting political gossip his bosses at Disney deem fit. Will the many varied forces of the internet like YouTube and blogtopia counter this vast power for a Democratic win in 2008? We shall see.
One facet of citizenship is commitment to facts and the pursuit of truth through science, it’s what the public education process instills, so to watch educated “professional journalism” Americans subjugate their character at the altar of corporate ass-kissing is a queasy, depressingly predictable phenomena to watch, but Election 2008 is different.
Even after tens of thousands of more corpses have been stacked up in the Middle East, after New Orleans has been so brutally abused, debt and prices roaring upward, terrible poverty spreading like wildfire everywhere as the Fed frantically tries to keep the economy from crashing, even now the American “journalism” corps will enable and help all the insanity that brought this on. No matter how may die and are brutally maimed in utterly shameful lies our “journalists” remain cruelly the same.
Why? Why is it so very, very important in the one American life given us not only to throw away all professional and personal integrity for politics, but also to do it blatantly in the face of overwhelming human death and failure? How is it possible to have a human soul and character like that?
“They love to make others lose,” a reformed Republican recently told me. “I honestly don't believe it's about the fighting, but about the subjugation aspect and insecure need to feel they are in the elite group. Through almost any cost.”
It does not ease my dismay and alarm, but it is at least an answer.