Broadcast philosophy involving revenue:
Anything controversial is worth covering and both sides of an issue must always be given equal space—even if one side belongs on a comedy special.
It’s broadcast laziness tossing raw news on the wall to see what sticks. The supposed “objectivity” gives credence to nonsense. Laziness in broadcasting does more to undermine logic than doofuses in boot hats and drugstore gunslingers posing as patriots.
Let’s return to where voters are renewed, re-aroused and willing to insure that never again will the bamboozle trump the truth
I was thinking about two unrelated articles in my OneNote that relate to what I have been thinking about in my current state of political fatigue.
MSNBC had an article on its front page entitled “Praying for election miracles”. It’s about politically active priests and preachers exhorting their faithful to petition God to vote on Tuesday.
Then there was an old New York Times article about the organization, Media Matters, entitled An All-Out Attack on `Conservative Misinformation that includes a complaint from Republican pollster and talking point framer Frank Luntz.
Let’s start with God who was being told when and how to vote, who will be shirking civic duty if HE does not vote. In some instances the prayerful petition appears to focus somewhat on an innocent desire to get out the vote. The underlying assumption however seems to be that those “gotten out to vote” by God would be voters aligned with those who made the politically prayerful petition.
On the other hand there are those who are openly asking God to forget about freedom of agency or choice; asking instead that HE impose HIS will on the people. This in some sort of spiritual puppet string-pulling and mind control that will cause a majority of the American electorate to vote in harmony with the God-and-Politics stampeders.
These preach values that demand personal subordination to a religious party line. They are not values of fairness, compassion, peace, charity nor understanding. These are values based on an assumption of a punitive and judgmental God that looks, talks and acts like Franklin Graham and his ilk.
In the mid-moments of the coming election season, this sort of thing repeats itself. Graham says that if Christians don’t vote the election will be lost. Graham wants his believers to plead with God to confirm and validate their own assumptions as to what God and religion are supposed to mean in the United States of America.
Of an impartial civic mind they are not. But they do want to get out the vote.
Then we have Frank Luntz speaking about Media Matters whose published purpose is to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
“I think they are one of the most destructive organizations associated with American politics today,” said Frank Luntz, an American political and communications consultant, pollster and pundit, best known for developing talking points and other messaging for Republican causes. Regarding Media Matters coverage of Fox News:
“They are vicious. They only understand one thing: attack, attack, attack.”
“If I were a Democrat, I would tell them to shut up,” Mr. Luntz said. “If I were a Republican, I would tell my candidates to ignore them.”
If you’ve ever listened to Luntz in person (I’ve watched him spar with Bill Maher on Real Time several times) you will see an almost smug declaration of how Democrats would be more successful if they would listen to his interpretation of the perceptive gullibility of the American electorate.
But currently Luntz once again has his career to push with this election. His words attempt to hide the fact that if the American electorate gets uppity and starts insisting on something more than sound-bite and talking-point campaigns, he’s done with his fame, fortune and cosmetic high-regard on cable TV.
I’ve long held a view that when a political candidate hires a campaign consultant of the Frank Luntz spin doctor ilk – that candidate has robbed his/her potential constituency of a relationship of trust.
Such an act places a manipulative gate-keeper smack dab between the citizen and the elected representative. If we accept that sort of arrangement with our candidates the common denominator of civic intelligence is dramatically lowered.
Luntz can’t deny that. No spin doctor can deny that. These folks do not raise civic intellectual awareness in this country any more than the do purveyors of American Idol, Survivor or Heroes who merely want you to watch and buy.
I’ve appreciated what Media Matters has done in helping the curious cope with a conservative radical partisan stampede tactic.
Rather than agreeing with Luntz and his whine about destructive organizations, I believe that so long as there are any ideologically driven information predators communicating with voters, organizations like Media Matters and Fact Check are necessary.
As for political prayer circles, I don’t want God jumping in the middle of American life like an overbearing moral Genghis Khan who proclaims “Live subordinate to me and my BOOK or you’ll hurt my feelings, die in your sins and be sent to hell!”
Preachers who goaded their flocks into American voting booths manage to get trusting people to cast purely negative-minded votes for false civic reasons.
In 2016 the pain and frustration for me was not limited to the Clinton loss. Much more than that was the sense that the election was severely impacted by information manipulation and outright lying.
I perceived that the majority of those who voted were misled. Non-voters remained off the beaten path because political tacticians wanted them out of sight and out of mind – voluntarily self-suppressed.
We were not even left with the consolation that a definite majority of the American voters had spoken; that the will – wise or unwise – of the majority of American citizens had been expressed.
We were stuck with the realization that the majority of those who had spoken were manipulated and led to the booth under false pretenses. (Think cleaning the swamp)
Civically and spiritually, I counsel that we do not let someone else -in any context – tell us once again what to think and how to vote.
I counsel that we make an effort to perceive the lies and half-truths proclaimed in campaigns.
I counsel an activist – even formally organized – civic campaign to put limits on purchased political ads, sound-bite advertising and contests decided by whoever has the most money available to flood the media with shallow inflammatory nonsense.
I’ve already made my arguments for and against the candidates of my choice. Repeating any of that is not appropriate to the theme of this opinion.
As we move forward, I intend to advocate more and more for genuine civic wisdom and voter participation in this country.
“Change” can be a spin-doctor word use to get out the vote. I hope real change means a return to the idea that America is essentially one big town hall.
I’d like to see a circumstance where voters are renewed, re-aroused and willing to insure that never again will the bamboozle trump the truth.
I’d like to see political apathy become as unacceptable as sexual harassment, domestic violence, child abuse, identity theft and belching in church.
I want us to move past next November satisfied that this time voter apathy, ignorance and gullibility has not once again harmed this state and this nation to a much greater degree than another terrorist attack.