Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Cold Look at Perhaps the Media's Last November

Why Keep Commenting of the US Media Sell Out?

Long before this post had reached even its "zygote" stage, literally volumes had been written about the disastrous state of the US "Fourth Estate."  The media wide collection of irrelevant gobbledy-gook vomiting out of the last, stinky remnants of the commercial media cadaver during this month may be a salient, morbid reminder of precisely what happens when your news corporation -- probably along with the lost souls who used to be the editors -- is finally bought out entirely by the oligarch class.

"I said clean that mess out of the studio.  The next network news editor is here, and we have just received today's facts.  By the way, where's my peacock?""   (image source)
Clare Higgins in Clive Barker's HellRaiser

Of course, all this "victimhood-style" complaining is nothing new -- or rare.  Americans have already moved quite a way beyond the cheaply disguised "objective credibility" sham of the domestic networks.  However, once again -- darkly -- MeanMesa will climb back on the broken down horse for one more visit to the discouraging subject. 

"News Bending" By An Obedient Media

Rather than simply ranting and raving with arms full of more gaseous generalities, maybe it would be fun and educational to consider some specifics.  Although a complete list of such examples would easily exceed the band width limits of a little blogspot like this one, here are a few of the most recent cases.

1.  Taking the Republican "debates" and the Republican "candidates" seriously.

Naturally, such a news extravaganza could not be ignored completely, but hour after hour of self-immolation and embarrassment?    The Republican strategists are jumping out the windows while the 2012 Republican hopefuls just keep staggering forward through the land fill they've already created for themselves, feet in mouth.  Not even the usually effective chit chat about the liberal media is working.

2.  Pretending that a majority of American voters are actually "moving to the right." 

How many times have we heard this bit of nonsense being injected into pundit analysis on a different topic?  The majority of Americans are wounded.  Not only this, that majority knows what happened, who did it to them and why no one reasonable can fix it.

3.  Constantly promoting the idea that domestic austerity has anything to do with anything.

The official GOPCon line is that the 99% must volunteer for even more suffering.  They know that they can't govern and can't make good on their promise to create jobs or help the economy.  They know that their record is the ultimate, toxic candidate killer from hell in a general election.  MeanMesa estimates that the recent PR "spending cuts" gizmo has persuaded 5% of the voters who didn't need persuading anyway.

4.  Down playing everything which could possibly lend credence to the Occupy movement.

For example, even the usual "marble in a mayonnaise jar" BBC treatment of American news included an interview on November 18 with some plucky Brit "expert" who categorically announced that the Occupy was already dissolving and that it would amount to nothing by spring.  MeanMesa, always anxious to help out the BBC, suggests that this interview be saved on a hard drive for future reference.

5.  Pretending that the "super committee" on debt reduction was ever expected to actually reduce debt, much less help the economy.

Wringing their hands like the parents of a fourteen year old girl out on her first date, the media has spent hours with the "Oh dear, will they, or, won't they?" question, trying to instill even a tiny bit of relevancy -- or interest -- in the issue in the minds of jobless Americans who are losing their houses this week.  Worse, any time the public response to this effort becomes too discouraging for them, the story immediately descends to the Greek and Italian debt crisis.  Yawn.  The "super committee" was never intended to do anything.  It will probably succeed with accomplishing that "low bar."

6.  Medicare and Medicaid are routinely imaged as irresolvable conflicts for the budget which must now be sacrificed.

Both programs were initially funded just fine.  Since then, Republicans have "followed orders" from the bosses who have always thought that Medicare and Medicaid money belonged to them.  When the autocrat loaded Medicare's heavily sabotaged Part D Pharmaceutical borrowing -- plus interest -- to the mix, both were destined to bankrupt themselves while his friends were salivating over privatizing the $2 Tn trust fund.  There is nothing wrong with either program which cannot be fixed.  Social Security contributes absolutely nothing to the national debt.  It is totally funded for years.

7.  There are always "two sides" to everything, and the paralyzing Republican obstructionism is only criticized for political reasons.
This line probably worked for a while.  At the time of this posting, polls show 76% of voters no longer buy it.  Even a majority of Republicans answered "yes" to the poll question:  "Are the Republicans purposefully sabotaging the economy to win the 2012 election."

8.  There is absolutely no mention of the amount the Republican "spending cuts" have reduced the national debt or the number of jobs the Republican "jobs plan" have helped create.

The answer to both questions is not surprising.  Republican "spending cuts" have been primarily "drive by attacks" on ideological targets. The amount of real debt reduction amounts to peanuts.

As for jobs, the number of jobs is zero.  The Republican "jobs plan" has not created a single job.  In fact, no one who pays attention to anything beyond FOX News can even tell you what the Republican "jobs plan" actually is.

Opinion polling suggests that voters are slowly realizing both facts.  The media has meticulously worked to counter this growing realization, either articfially contradicting them or simply avoiding any mention of them.

9.  Reporting about the Occupy Wall Street Movement always contains right wing talking points, over reporting of usually "perpetrator incited" incidents and conclusions that Occupy is basically without merit and meaningless.

These are some of the most expensively repeated and cheaply uniform talking points in any campaign conducted recently, both signs that the "people" who can place specific "words" into otherwise banal news stories are quite concerned.  The BBC "reporting" on Friday, November 18, is a good example.

The BBC "expert" brazenly reported that "very few" protesters remained active in the movement, that it was quickly dying off and that it never meant anything in the first place.  On November 17, there were more than 12,000 protesters in New York.  That figure is from police estimates, but neither Reuters, CNN/US, The Examiner nor The Washington Post included that number in their reporting.

Instead, all these "news" services noted that 300 protesters had been arrested.  MSNBC used the word "thousands" in its description of the Day of Action.

10.  The "uprisings" in Wisconsin and Ohio are routinely characterized as ineffective "labor movements."

Of course, labor unions are involved in the protests in both places, however during the show down in Madison, well over 100,000 Wisconsites appeared at the Capitol in Madison.  Equal coverage was given to 300 tea bags who were bussed in by the Koch Brothers' American for Prosperity money funnelled through Dick Armey's California Law Firm, Freedom Works.

It will be interesting to see the orders for media treatment of the successful recall of the Koch Brothers' Wisconsin Governor, now officially under way.  The recall petitions took in 60,000 signatures during the first 48 hours.

The election in Ohio merited the chortled smile of PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff.  She was "shocked, I tell you, shocked!" It was, no doubt, discouraging to Judy to see all of her efforts at such a careful bias falling to ashes before her face.  The actual facts of the story rose up in highly visible contradiction to an election which had been continuously presented as a "non starter."

11. Media reporting constantly downgrades the scope of carefully engineered voter suppression and preparations for election fraud in states with Republican governments.

The anti-democracy tea bag "backlash" is easily visible in the draconian addition of registration and identification obstacles put in place in nine states so far.  Although there is no evidence of wide spread voter fraud, hundreds of thousands of legal voters are being disenfranchised with the new requirements.  The media dutifully repeats the lie that voter fraud is a gigantic problem.

In Texas and a few other states, Republican redistricting plans which would eliminate voting blocks of minority Hispanics and blacks are all headed directly for court action established under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  Oooops.

12.   Language:  Pay attention to how often the word "trying" is attached to reports of President Obama's efforts to do anything.

We had to have at least one example of the contextural bias which is being so artfully inserted in "news" stories.  The one selected here is the word "trying."  When the President undertakes any effort whatsoever, his actions are described by adding the word "trying" to the reporting.

The President is trying to move his jobs bill through the Congress.  The President is trying to convince European leaders to establish a bail out fund.  The President is trying to restore the economy.  After listening to literally hours of "trying," the FOX talking point that the President is ineffective is tediously reinforced, creating a stronger and stronger, shadowy foot hold in the subconscious minds -- even the minds of those viewing the commercial media.

Of course, cheap tricks such as the "trying" gimmick are never challenged by sources more concerned with their image than MeanMesa is.  Should a reasonably adept reporter take note of such a sinister, cheezy subtlety, he would worry that either no one would understand his point or that a hired chorus of FOX monkeys would manage to embarrass him.

MeanMesa suspects that the relentless over use of this word probably won't end until November of 2012.  The language based propaganda examples are legion.  The commercial air waves, now with FCC licenses unfettered by the annoying old "public good" clause or any detectable interest in honest reporting, manufacture these little things in hordes -- like fleas in a puppy mill.

(A MeanMesa note:  the yellow background was selected for these examples in keeping with a design format for "yellow press.")

The Conclusion:  A One Liner

The Democrats can lose the 2012 election to the media.

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