During a recent interview with 60 Minutes, President Obama jabbed interviewer Steve Kroft over accusations that the sit down, with both the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, somehow had implications for the 2016 election.
The President replied, “Steve, you guys in the press are incorrigible. I literally got inaugurated four days ago, and you’re talking about elections four years from now!”
The tone was silly for a silly question, yet it isn’t the first time 2016 has been brought up. Just look at all the talk after the election and during the inauguration even from the press about the election.
Can you believe this?! The last election was the longest in history, starting officially in early 2011, yet the speculation began to pick up speed in late 2009 and really began earlier that year, when Romney began entering into the public his sharp criticisms about Obama’s handling of the Detroit Bailouts. Remember his little op-ed piece titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”? Yeah that was several months into Obama’s Presidency.
2012 was longer than 2008, which was 2 something years long as well with Gulliani and Hillary being the inevitable nominees way back in early 2007. Are people going to begin running for 2020 before 2016 is even over? I mean I know there is jockeying like when Lieberman sided with Republicans in the 2000 recount so he could better his chances in 2004 (which was a huge success for eventual President Lieberman). Though what if candidates simply began openly running for the next election during the previous one? I mean, why not? The amount of cash you need to run almost requires it!
Who is really to blame for all this rat race election horses**t? Well, you have guys like Chris Mathews who genuinely love the play by play and can speculate till the sun rises. You also have pundits who use the future to make their present failed predictions seem prophetic, like most of FoxNews, who got everything so wrong, like predicting a Romney landslide or economic collapse, so they need Paul Ryan to be the winner in 2016 for a fictional America that never existed and never will so they don’t lost their cushy pundit jobs.
Yet that’s to be expected from pundits. We know they talk and talk. That’s why they are called talking heads. No, no. The real problem is much, much bigger and is simply a touch of rot in a house infected with termites and mold. The house we often call the 4th Estate: the mainstream media.
These days, it seems nearly impossible for competent journalists to make it in the corporate-owned media world that seems ever more obsessed with turning a profit instead of reporting the news.
The result is the world we live in. A world of 24 hour news cycles that astonishingly report very little news. Fox News is the worst. It actually reports bad and often inaccurate news, in its attempts to fulfill its agenda, and most of its cycle is filled with a bunch of ignorant blowhards rambling on about how life was better when they were children. MSNBC is leaps and bounds better, despite the common misconception that it’s just as bad as Fox. Though it is an attempt to push a mostly traditional moderate agenda with vague liberal ideals sown here and there (though I must remind that the morning show is run by a conservative), and is mostly just politics, not really news. CNN is just bad, rising to the high levels set by Access Hollywood and Inside Edition, but with holograms.
The rest of the pack, both local and the network national news, are filled with garbage that focuses on the topics that sell: Fear, medical miracles that could save your life (brought to you by our drug sponsors), disasters, phony populism, heart-string fluff and of course, the rat race.
Nobody can report what is actually happening anymore without what’s happening being something that will rob you, rape you, infect you or take your life in shocking ways. It may also be a shocking new trend that our children are following to get high or go to underground parties! How threatening! Oh and don’t forget child molesters. They’re everywhere and coming for your children!!!
Yet the greatest threat to our existence, climate change, is just too damn scary and depressing to talk about in real news, so we hear almost nothing about it, and when we do, a small minority of kooks and illiterate morons with no evidence are given an equal voice to the legions of scientists who are deeply frightened. Ya know, the people who actually know the stuff.
PBS programming like Bill Moyers, which is as solid, sincere journalism is very rare and could never be broadcast to a mainstream audience because it’s so real, that it’s depressing. When you know that corporations are making life miserable for already impoverished villagers in South America just so you can have cheap copper pipes, coffee, bananas etc. you tend to feel really bad about the whole damn system. Yet, I don’t like being lied to, and nothing depresses me more than to watch the network nightly news. It’s like watching a drug company infomercial with momentary 5 second long clips of actual news book-ended with filler, analysis of speculation and all capped off with some nice feelgood marshmallow fluff.
During the election, I watched NBC Nightly News present the day after the VP Debates, only one side of the story, literally reporting only from Romney HQ and deciding that Ryan won without investigating a single quote from the debates, which were already BS to begin with. I am seriously not joking, if you stuck around for Extra, the tabloid program, you would be treated to a more hard hitting analysis of the debates.
You know things are bad, when the only difference between the hard-hitting journalists and the tabloid garbage is the video editing style.
The sad part is, people continue to watch it, so they continue to do it. Besides, it’s a whole lot easier than actually doing some reporting on actual news and, now this is the important part in today’s media. It’s a whole lot more profitable to pay a few idiots to sit in a studio to shoot the sh*t, than it is to send out an investigative journalist to do a hard story. Why go to Afghanistan at all? We’re only fighting a war their. That isn’t profitable or safe?
In the end. We live in a capitalist society run by corporations who have taken away much of our rights. The media is on life support right now because of the corporate policy on making their news divisions profitable, rather than informative and, ya know, true.
There is little hope for TV journalism anymore. The real hope is on the internet, where the corporate arms have not yet oppressed the people with their unique brand of smothering freedom, buy up what exists and control what people see and hear. In a way that is a worse form of oppression, because living in a fantasy land that is slowly rotting away is a recipe for disaster. Ignorance may be bliss for you, yet it will be pain for your kids and torture for your grandkids as little by little, the state is molded into a giant corporate welfare state that is every bit as awful to work for as Orwell’s hellscape in 1984.
Sometimes the government isn’t the only threat to your liberty. It can come from multi-national businesses that are getting every bit closer to outright owning the state and shifting every tax dollar into businesses they own and use to funnel every dime out of this country.
So the next time you watch the nightly news, with its big drug company sponsors, ask yourself, are these people going to tell me the truth about the latest drug that is worth billions on the market? Are they going to tell me the truth about corporations when they are owned by GE and Comcast and Disney and Viacom and Newscorp?
The illusion of freedom seems real as long as you don’t say the wrong things too loudly and as long as nobody’s listening. They don’t care what you say as long as you buy their Chinese made crap. And as long as we hand them our responsibilities of democracy, they will own your voice. One day, we may wake up and find they own us outright. Well, to be honest. All we have to do is wake up!