Question of the day: how can we best combat the media’s McCain love?
Figuring out how best to respond to the corporate media’s love affair with John McCain isn’t just the question of the day: it’s the question of this campaign.
McCain has a lot of things going against him in this race, from the way he’s joined at the hip to George W. Bush, to subtler issues such as his age (oldfartgate anyone?). But he has one huge advantage: the establishment media, with all of its power, is head over heels in love with him. It always has been. Indeed, he once famously described the media as “my base.”
You can bet the farm that if McCain wins this year, it will be largely because of how the media covers the race.
But then what else is new? This is, after all, the same corporate media that bought into the GOP’s “Al Gore’s a pathological liar” fairy tale hook, line and sinker back in 2000.
And, yes, it’s the same major corporate media that was more than happy to act as a press agent for the Swift Boat Liars in 2004.
But then, as a number of media types ultimately confessed, major media reporters and pundits just didn’t like either Al Gore or John Kerry. They viewed them as aloof and insufficiently solicitous. So naturally, taking them down a notch or two was more important than the health and welfare of the country. Besides, as we all know, George W. Bush was the sort of guy you’d like to have a beer with and, thus, was clearly the better choice for president.
And what about this year? Well, we’re barely into the general election campaign and already media hotshots are complaining about the way Obama’s campaign is treating them (and, yes, they even use the word aloof — the more things change, the more they . . .). Meanwhile, in what is, no doubt, a harbinger of things to come, they are already busy showering affection on McCain.
Face it: like it or not, the media’s love affair with John McCain is a fact. The only question is what we can do about it.
Obama’s ability to raise historically large piles of cash (he may raise as much as a half-a-billion dollars according to some predictions), obviously, will be a big help. It’s a lot easier going over the media’s head directly to the people when you have an almost unlimited checkbook. So, as crass as it may seem, one thing Obama supporters have to do is to continue dipping into our checking accounts.
But we can do a lot more than that. We can commit our own voices to holding the major media accountable. When the coverage is unfair, we need to scream at the top of our lungs. The right wing has been doing it for years, “working the refs” with great success. This time it’s our turn.
Organizations like Media Matters and MoveOn.org (and progressive bloggers) will help, but there’s a lot individuals can do. We need to shower media outlets with letters and emails every time a biased report appears. Hell, I’m not against people politely confronting reporters and pundits in person on the campaign trail (or on their book tours), demanding to know why they’re going so much easier on McCain than Obama. Then there’s just the simple business of speaking the truth in our personal lives. When a friend, relative or acquaintance spouts off some BS McCain talking point picked up from the media, don’t just say, “Screw it, it’s not worth the hassle.” Make the extra effort to set the record straight.
That’s how real change occurs, after all — one hard fought conversion after another.
This country belongs to us, not Time Warner, General Electric or any of the other huge media conglomerates. This year, for a change, let’s let them know that we know it.
June 20th, 2008 at 2:56 pm
Force Impeachment Hearings and bring out all the dirty laundry..the GOP and the DLC…let the American people know the whole truth and who is really doing what, who is lying, who is covering-up, who is colluding..etc. McCain will go down in flames, along with the other crooks and liars…..
June 21st, 2008 at 12:57 am
I agree we must confront the corporate-owned media by writing letters to the editor; by joining with Fair.org, by answering any action alerts out there. Use whatever means you have at hand to confront media bias. Use your e-mail lists of friends and ask them to pass along the truth. Don’t let up. Don’t give up. Look under Care2 and see if there are any petitions confronting the media. Start one. My local newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, is a hardcore, right-wing rag. Occasionally, they will publish a Letter to the Editor. I have had several published. Join Move.On and get moving.
June 21st, 2008 at 8:31 am
That’s a lovely thought, chabuka, but who will take the blinders off? Who will remove the earplugs from the American people so they can hear the truth?
We are a selfish, uninformed people who have grown accustomed to the fantasy world that is black and white, good and evil and that can only be fought by waving a flag and shopping. American aren’t mad about spying and FISA, they’re pissed because it costs them more to drive to walmart. Americans aren’t enraged to learn that our moron-in-chief ordered torture, they’re angry that they have to cut back on vacations and restaurants.
Americans aren’t outraged that we started an immoral and illegal war, they’re just mad that it wasn’t a cakewalk.
If Americans WANT to know the whole truth….the truth is out there….way out there, under a rock, waiting for a nation of people with the courage to not only turn that rock over, but willing to look at what lies underneath.
Here, in the home of the brave, Americans wait for someone else to do that dirty work for them, and wait…..and wait, but no one can do the thing we need to do for ourselves. I’ve signed every petition I can find to impeach the criminals in our white house. I’ve written letter after letter to my representatives. It makes no difference. We need to go to washington, by the millions. Since we seem to be just waiting for a knight on a steed, let’s do that waiting in front of the white house. ALL of us. Only a show of force of enormous magnitude will bring change. How do you convince millions of Americans who only want to wake up from this nightmare that they ARE awake and this nightmare is of their own making? How do you get them to band together and take their country back? We have lost the national unity necessary to show washington the power of the people. Our leaders have succeeded in manipulating us into a powerless, helpless, confused and divided nation. That reminds me of a song, King Crimson:
The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
As silence drowns the screams.
Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools.
Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
But I fear tomorrow Ill be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow Ill be crying.
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:32 am
Bravo and Three Cheers, Alwayshope!!! You have painted the picture just as it is in our Me,Myself and I world. Yet, some of us are not confused, do seek the truth, and take the time to pass it on. Here we are in Last Chance Democracy Cafe. We can be thankful that we found one another. Steve, you want to form a community. Community is very special. Let us treasure it. It can be a powerful force.
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:13 am
great post - glad to know you (and the community here)
but i guess i have to defend “the Americans” - i just wrote about the “For All”-condition in math and how one simple contradiction breaks it - the power of the proof by contradiction is based on that
so you, alwayshope, are enough to show, that it is not true “For All Americans” to be selfish and uninformed, to be not proud enough to “be mad about spying and FISA” or not decent enough to be outraged about death and maiming of a whole nation just for fun…
so, please, alwayshope - don’t give up, we need you…
think of the power of Ubuntu!
Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999):
“A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”