The Widdershins

Ranty Wednesday: Our Craptastic Media

Posted on: August 15, 2012

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:

  1. How much does Ryan want to cut Medicare? (Answer: He wants to destroy it completely.)
  2. 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.)
  3. What would the long-term effects be on the program? (Answer: Medicare would be completely privatized.)
  4. 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.


24 Responses to "Ranty Wednesday: Our Craptastic Media"

Once again the media is covering this election like a high school contest. Referring to Paul Ryan as a “hottie” is just one instance of stupidity much like the Sarah Palin reference that she was a “MILF”. Never mind the issues, just pick your favorite “beer partner” as we did with Bush/Gore.

This nation is on a trajectory not seen since the 1930s when the Depression found so many without safety nets and soup kitchens were a common sight.

Unions, women, seniors, the sick and disabled are being bartered for the sake of absolute power in the hands of those who simply don’t give a rat’s ass. The current candidates all emerge from a different class altogether and have never faced the privations that the majority of us must deal with every day. And from this lot we are expected to choose the “leader” best able to represent us.

I’m not saying one needs to be poor to understand the plight of the poor but to show some empathy and understanding of what it means to live without the hope of ever attaining the American Dream.

What does this say about us a whole nation that those who would seek to tamper and reject much needed programs – like healthcare as one example – rise to the top of the political spectrum and find nothing wrong with this attitude?

“at least one of them (Ryan) opposes equal rights for women”

As distinct from Obama, which, of course, requires voters to forget about Stupakistan, Plan B, amending the Constitution by executive order to allow bishops to dictate health care for their female employees, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum et nauseam.

Which is a safe bet. So I’m sure it’ll work.

(Off topic: Why is it so hard for people to pay attention to what all these east ends of west-facing horses have done and ignore what they say? They’re all poster asses for the old joke about how to tell when they’re lying: when their lips are moving.)

Pat, I share your disbelief at what we have become.

Quixote, i think people still want to believe that they can protect women’s rights by voting for Obama. I disagree, of course. We have to stand up for ourselves and fight. As Uppity says, 50,000 women on the Capitol steps would cure these men of their woman-hatred really darned quickly.

MB, I have a theory about the craptastic media — most have not a clue about the intricacies of this melange of programs or public policy or budgeting or really anything of substance beyond their “man spanx.”

There are notable exceptions, but too often they are marginalized by editors who (see list above).

#2: I’m not about to defend Obama on this issue but I will offer this much to at least illustrate some difference:

It has not been Obama who has pushed to turn a zygote into a person.
It has not been the Dems working state by state to overturn abortion rights.
It has not been the Dems who are threatening Planned Parenthood.
It has not been the Dems who are forcing a woman to undergo an unneeded ultrasound.
It has not been the Dems who want to redesign the meaning of rape.
It has not been the Dems who would eliminate rape and incest and force a woman to bear the product of her violation.
It is not the Dems who are in favor of eliminating contraception from healthcare.

This has been a concerted effort put forth by the states dominated by the GOP legislators and has found agreement with most of their local, state, and federal candidates for public office.

I am not excusing the Dems from inaction, merely pointing out that this push has been orchestrated and carried out by one party in particular and it is not the Dems.

The doubts surrounding Obama is of the fear that he would capitulate in their favor but it is not his party who is chipping away at the privacy of women, hampering their access to healthcare in the name of religion, and proposing measures in settled law that would send them back into the Dark Ages if enacted.

This can all be placed at the feet of one party and it is not the Dems.

Pat@5: Agreed, but..Obama seems to want to cave so easily, i.e. the Stupak dealie and the “accomodation” for religious groups on birth control.

madamab: I’m stil trying to figure out who the author of that Post piece is. Dan Balz?

Oh and if you want to read the Ryan/Wynden medicare thing, here it is:

Uppity put this and his budget up on her site and said folks needed to read it since he’s the veep candidate and much has been said about it but probably few have read it.

I found this somewhat interesting. I’ll call it “Receipts of the Rich and Famous”, or rich kids losing it.

@8: I am speechless.

#5 – Yes, Pat, I know that and agree. But I also agree with Fredster.

The point I am trying to make is that we can’t expect Obama to defend our rights. We have to do what Janicen and her daughter did when their rights were assaulted in Virginia: Feet in the street!

Or, take as an example the huge online protest when the Susan G. Komen Foundation tried to defund Planned Parenthood because they perform abortions along with all of their other services for women’s health. The Komen Foundation backed down, but quick!!!

We are on our own, ladies. After all these years of voting for Democrats, some can be relied upon to stand by us, but some cannot. That is the sad truth of the situation.

Because of Stupak and “FOCA not my top priority”, I count Obama amongst those who cannot be counted to stand up for us when the chips are down. We are very lucky he kept the free birth control provision in Obamacare, and that was only because so many women screamed and yelled about it. Oh, and it’s an election year and he needs our votes.

Pat, I do realize that plenty of Dems are noticeably better than their Repub opponents. I’m going to be voting for them when I can in November. But Obama isn’t remotely one of them. He’s an abuser whose idea of an argument in his favor is “Get used to it.” And “the other guy will beat you up worse.”

I feel very strongly that we shouldn’t be rewarding his appalling behavior. But I also can see that among the fine shades of horrificness, some people may see B0 as less horrific. The real problem is a system that gives us only those choices. To me, that’s another reason why we have to refuse to play the game. Otherwise, it’s only going to get worse.

@8 and 10 – Basically it seems that Ryan wants to do the following w/r/t healthcare:

1) Create “freedom to choose” by removing the mandate for employers to provide health care coverage.

2) Control costs through the Magical Hand of teh Free Market (TM).

3) Leave individuals with no guaranteed health insurance at all, but wait! There’s a $2300 tax credit to help you defray your costs. Of course that is not money in your pocket, and if you aren’t paying taxes because you’re not working, oh well! Now you’re unemployed AND you have no health insurance.

4) Don’t worry, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will help. Er, maybe not.

MB13: Re-Ryan budget. See Ayn Rand philosophy. He can deny it all he wants but that’s what he believes in.

And of course I lurved his hypocrisy in that: (a) his family takes/took advantage of tax credits or whatever for land they own in TX and (b) taking farm subsidies.

And of course he never discusses this does he:

His father’s death provided Ryan with Social Security benefits until his 18th birthday, which he saved to pay for his education at Miami University of Ohio.

Talk about biting the hand that fed you!!

Fuzzy@14: I saw that on the news! Was it radical homosexuals?

Good grief, not another killing, How many people have to die? Reminds me of the Lord of the Flies, quite honestly. We are truly regressing as a society.

HT: I don’t think anyone got killed in this one. The security guard got to him before he could do much and the guard got shot in the arm.

This is how I feel about guns: You will never hear the words “drive-by knifing has killed a toddler.”

@20 – I could swear I read the identical story before.

Oh, I did. It’s from 2011.

@20 – Fredster. I may have a skewed view of this because I live near New York. But there is a reason I don’t watch the local news. I can’t stand how many people die every night from gun violence.

Night all…thanks for the comments and links.

MB: I understand your positon about guns.

Barbara: Yes it was from last year. The jerk (nice term) has been trying to use an insanity plea and just recently gave up on that and accepted a sentence in the case. To me the only acceptable resolution would have been for him to be decapitated.

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