Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Media Scorned

It really looks like Republicans have plumb broken their propaganda machine. The well-oiled machine they used in 2000 was already smoking and sputtering by the time they cranked it into overdrive in 2004, and now their efforts to destroy Obama have left the damn thing in shambles. And while in the past they were completely laying waste to their credibility with non-conservative voters, this time, they really screwed up: They pissed off the media. And for a media star like McCain, that's really all he's got.

Because despite everything he said, the media always believed he was their guy. Everyone else was being conned and he was just telling them what they wanted to hear. But the media...the media knew that he was one of them. So manly. So real. And so it must have come as a real bitchslap when McCain picked Palin. Because not only did she not appeal to their sensibilities, but they had been left in the dark about her selection. And that could only mean one thing: They were the ones McCain had been fooling, not the conservative base.

And so we see yet another defection away from McCain, with ex-Koolaid Drinker Mark Halperin destroying McCain on CNN. And this just wasn't supposed to happen. The media was supposed to be in the McCain bag like they've never been in a bag before. The conservatives were supposed to be reluctant McCain supporters, but the media was supposed to be there for him. Yet McCain keeps losing the pundits and, lookie this, a Newsweek article detailing how Palin became so obsessed attacking her sister's ex-husband that the divorce court judge had to warn her to stop and even threatened to hurt her sister's custody rights if Palin didn't stop.

And this was all terribly avoidable. For as much as Palin "energized" the base, who gives a flip? What, were they really going to stay home? They weren't voting for McCain, they were voting against Obama. All Palin did was give them an excuse to act energized, but they were going to hate Obama no matter who McCain picked. They're not excited because they imagine Palin's going to have some huge impact on McCain's presidency (and yes, I shuttered when I wrote that). They're excited because it serves them a propaganda victory to have McCain throw them some meat they can believe in. That's what all this was about.

And so McCain pleased the conservative base and ended up destroying his own base. And while the conservatives would have voted against Obama even if McCain had picked Osama as his running mate, the media has had its heart broken and ain't coming back. After all, they're not really Republicans, no matter what most liberals believe. These people are all longtime Democrats who have been trained to not like Democratic politicians. Well, it looks like they can hate Republican politicians too. And while they might have the same sort of cynical "purer-than-thou" dislike of Obama that they have with all other Democrats, these people are pissed that McCain roped them along. This should be fun.

P.S. Isn't it about time for the Blogger spellchecker to acknowledge that "Obama" is a real word? I mean, really.


John of the Dead said...

First off, I'm not certain the media has abandoned McCain. Or if they have, then there are still a lot of hold-outs. Yesterday on NPR, that bastion of "liberal" media, Juan Williams practically bent himself into a pretzel to avoid stating the plain fact of the McPalin lies. Go. Listen.

Further, there's a significant minority of "Christian" voters who are planning to vote for McCain and then pray for God to smite him in office, so their girl Sarah can take over. It's scary. And I'm afraid it's not isolated. (To the CIA/FBI/Secret Service agent reading this, please note that I do not condone these sentiments.)

So, yeah, it's a weird election year. I have no idea where this thing is headed.

Green Eagle said...


I wish I could agree with you, but I suspect that, when the wheels fall off of the Straight Talk Express, the press is going to be right there, passing out zip ties and bondo, to keep the thing together until November 4th.

John Fulton said...

I caught Halperin on AC360 by chance, and was blown down by his criticism. He was pretty directly calling Palin a liar and it wasn't at all what I expected from him. He then went on to harp on the 'fact' that Obama didn't know how to deal with Palin, and I had to thnk that it was in the media's interest, but not necessarily Obama's interest to make Palin the main issue.

So, it was interesting to see someone so deep in the tank like Halperin calling BS on Palin, but he still had his 'Democracts are weak' narrative to fall back on.

So, the press corp may not be ready to be honest about Democrats, but all we really need is for them to be honest about Republicans. And here's hoping McCain has broken their hearts enough for that to happen.