I disagreed with someone a few days ago over the idea the left needed more “hacks”, but now I’m reconsidering.
Bob Somerby as usual’s doing a bang-up job tracking the media madness, and in 2 particular areas his observations fit together -
1) the media pack has gotten chummier of late with its Groupthink as Twitter helps them align their stories (sad, but bars used to serve this purpose, and at least then you could say you got a buzz)
2) the media left & right continues to push the Benghazi “scandal” because Obama didn’t say “terrorist terrorist terrorist” 3 times instead of once, leading the talking heads to conclude Romney’s a greater statesman because he knew how to echo Obama lines without laughing. Modern media = a GOP PR flack’s wet dream.
So my realization is that my friend’s right and I’m wrong – by point #1, the media doesn’t like to stick out and have a stray opinion, so they’ll look around to find the consensus “adult” Beltway opinion – however fucked up and irrational that might be. And #2 shows the table’s tilted right, despite all those left-leaning pool balls.
So if a group of hacks lead the way, chanting “2 legs good, 4 legs better”, as first movers they’ll attract the 2nd-comers, and point the consensus in the right direction. Which happens to be a right-wing reality-detached view.
So that’s how Mitt Romney’s actual budget can disappear for months even in the NY Times. I took the time to watch the 1st debate, where Obama’s performance was panned. Once again I feel likea stranger in a strange land - where I usually feel turned off by Obama, this time he felt like the adult in the room, giving substantive complete answers while Romney went off like a Taco Bell chihuahua offering platitudes and vagaries in a patter like the lucky guy who got to lick the meth lab bowl. Maybe Barry looked tired – like big deal? Is this what we decide substantive matters on? And then when he bats Mitt around in debate #3 but Mitt goes all puppy dog rubbing up against his leg? Nope, still no dice – unlike yesteryear, the media wants a single turnaround, not an actual race – the money has spoken, and the masters of bland irrational consensus have made their choice, and no chance those polls could be contrived (vs. BLS jobs reports Mr. Welch?).
(Not that I’m giving it all up for Barack like Lena Dunham just like that – bet she’s waiting for gov handouts to fund those White House sexcapades safe voting booth encounters – I’m holding out for a political metrosexual who knows his/her amyl nitrate & X doses and has that muppet hand-doll entourage and perhaps a threesome in the booth, if that’s metaphorically & constitutionally possible, since we are talking political metaphors for voting here of course, nothing I would do in real life….)
But back to business, as David Dayan and Dean Baker point out, Social Security protection is off the table since rich donors to both parties find retirement safety nets for the common folk so icky and like totally usurious and totally entitled feeling when they could spend the money better, and we’re still going to be left with drone strikes, massive illegal mortgage repossessions and need to talk about cutting the budget when unemployment is way too high, simply because that’s the way our politics rolls – candidates, media of both persuasions (who look like androgynous coke whores to me whichever party they favor, but actually that reminds me I can be a bit fond of androgynous coke whores so scratch that), and even those rabid people who engage you in small talk in the bar just to have a chance to rattle you with some conspiracy theory their cousin Dave picked up somewhere.
And well, the idea that the Catholic Church will ever be interviewed about anything but abortion (say poverty? the effects of draconian cuts and demonizing the poor for all our ills?), sorry, ix-nay as well.
So to sum it up, maybe Mars Earth needs a hack attack, a leftist version of GOP lock-step God-condoned rape, Benghazi Al Qaeda brigades, welfare mother, Kenyan socialist, tax cuts increase revenue, Reagan = founding father = Jesus = Israel 4-evuh kinda mass jingoism. That way we don’t have to get our panties in a wad each day, knowing someone somewhere has our back, is willing to rant incoherently in our names, for our cause.
Because what with Comcast, GE, MSNBC, Roger Ailes, Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch and the US Chamber of Commerce, we’re a bit outclassed and outgunned and outspent in the “can’t we just be reasonable” department. I think I speak for all of us when I say I understand. It’s time for parity, and I don’t mean Monty Python.
PS – speaking of 4th Estate, thy name is Google. Behold in amazement and wonder. Guess the Intertubez are just like Youtubez, just another Chocolate Factory theme park – fuhgiddabout empowerment unless you can pay click-through rates. Even Facebook has put a premium on your friends - guess they weren’t quite your friends after all. Can we get a “Not Like” button finally?