I normally shield myself from the corporate media in order to avoid a rapid increase in heart rate, uncontrollable swearing, and an irresistable desire to dunk myself in a vat of lye. But today, I ask the question: Just how craptastic is our media? My answer: Extremely. As an example, we need look no further than the “reporting” of the Washington Post about Paul Ryan’s position on Medicare. At least, I think that’s what it was supposed to be about. I really can’t tell.
Mitt Romney is enjoying an initial burst of energy after adding Rep. Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket. He is drawing the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds of his campaign, the same way that GOP nominee John McCain did four years ago after naming Sarah Palin as his running mate. Romney is getting what he hoped for when he passed over safer choices.
But he also has bought trouble, as is clear from Democrats’ attacks on Ryan’s far-reaching and controversial budget plan, which would — among other things — transform Medicare into a premium support program for younger people upon retirement.
Is it me, or are the words “a premium support program for younger people upon retirement” so vague as to be meaningless? A factual report would have contained something radical like:
- How much does Ryan want to cut Medicare? (Answer: He wants to destroy it completely.)
- For whom? (Answer: Everyone. Don’t believe the BS about how it is going to be the same for seniors. Ryan is out to screw us all but good.)
- What would the long-term effects be on the program? (Answer: Medicare would be completely privatized.)
- Would Medicare cuts actually help balance the budget, which is supposedly why this Austerian monstrosity is being proposed in the first place? (Answer: No.)
Believe it or not, I searched the entire article and could not come up with one single coherent sentence that detailed Ryan’s position. It’s all a bunch of nonsense about who can win the debate about Medicare and whose message is resonating and how much Romney and Ryan agree. How utterly pathetic!
I think this explains why, at a recent gathering, my friends all asked me who Paul Ryan was and what he stood for. To us here at TW, that is a shocking question; but most people cannot find a decent snippet of information anywhere. They might find some scraps if they are willing to go to admittedly slanted sources like Faux News or MSNBC, but most Americans do not watch these outlets because they know they are getting either Republican or Democratic propaganda along with, perhaps, a tiny soupcon of truth (just to add spice to the mix).
Since our Entertainment Tonight-style news will be no help, I continue to believe that this election will be about turnout. Because Romney has successfully energized the evangelical base with Paul Ryan, I think he now has the edge. (Sadly, Ryan is good-looking, young, much better-spoken than Sarah Palin, and most importantly, he has Teh Pen*s. This means that the media will not want to destroy him the way they did Palin. Too bad for those of us on the side of sanity.)
Obama will have to be very forceful indeed in his messaging in order to motivate Democrats to turn out in big enough numbers to beat Romney. Will he convince enough Independents and women that Romney-Ryan is too extreme a ticket? That they are fully intending to privatize Social Security and Medicare? Oh, and that at least one of them (Ryan) opposes equal rights for women and LGBT?
My guess is that Barack will have to dial up the fauxrage in order to win. It won’t mean anything. If we had a real media, they’d note that Obama is the one who created the Catfood Commission and put Ryan on it. Ryan was one of those who recommended privatizing both Medicare and Social Security. They’d also note that Obama has said that privatizing Social Security in order to “fix” it is on the table. I’m quite sure, however, in our current fact-free climate, that Obama will be allowed to lie just as much as Romney and Ryan.
In a world where the truth is nowhere to be found, the best liar will win. I guess we can be somewhat consoled if the winner is “our” liar instead of “theirs.”
This is an open thread.
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