Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is it really all a game?

"It's gonna be a looong night at MSNBC if I manage to pull this thing off..." Senator John McCain

Nobody can help be exposed to coverage on the US elections, but I feel almost envious of anyone who is trying to avoid it.

Like most, I have my leanings, best summarised here. But forget that for a second, and examine the massive weight of media bias and that of the cultural elite, Hollywood and the arts. It is so abundantly clear where their affections lie. From the cheap, nasty, personal and at times sexually depraved savagery of Sarah Palin, to the cynical vilification of John McCain's young wife, the coverage of dirt has been heavily weighted to one side. The underhanded way journalists from the Treason Times (sometimes known as the New York Times) approached McCain's daughter on facebook to dig for material on her mum was an exercise in shamelessness.

Some of the detective-like tasks given to journalists by their respective media bosses to uncover (any) dirt on Palin was enough to even make some of the journalists ashamed. Now that is something! Journalists developing a moral value. Pity they didn't stand by it.

The ideology war over the hearts and minds of the public is fought less by the nominees themselves and more by the media. And it's a one-sided battle.

Which is what makes the Alfred E Smith memorial dinner such a delight, and it makes you wonder whether all the muck-shovelling is really the result of genuine political beliefs and passions, or just a game.

Certainly there are speech writers involved, but some people can just pull it off well. Senator Obama's speech was beautifully delivered, wickedly funny and done with relish. Senator McCain's was a little less eloquent, but still incisively funny, barely touching on unwanted political issues and even so, with light hearted apolitical humour. His quips on the absent Bill Clinton had Hillary in stitches.

Notably absent from Obama's speech however, and I don't say that to be provocative, was magnanimity of the kind which came from McCain, delivered with obvious, genuine sincerity;

I don’t want it getting out of this room, but my opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways. Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in eachother, but I’ve had a few glimpses of this man at his best, and I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It’s not for nothing, that he’s inspired so many folks in his own party, and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history, and he’s made quite a bit of it already. There was a time when a mere invitation of an African American to dine at the White House, was taken as an outrage and an insult in many quarters. Today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time, and good riddance. I can’t wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well.

How nice it would be if such good spirit prevailed in the respective parties, and more importantly, amongst their supporters. But it won't. Because the media will not allow it. They will continue to give maximum prime time to anything, regardless of it's relevance, which shows the Republican ticket in bad light. They will continue to ignore Obama's extreme socialist history, no matter how relevant it is to the shaping of Obama's political present and future.

This means, the only people who can highlight these alarming priors- are McCain and Palin. But if they do that, it's "smearing". No wonder it all looks so dirty.


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