Sunday, July 27, 2008

Living in Mediated Times

Do you sometimes feel like the media says something as a surefire fact about the opinions of the American people that you hadn’t heard before and then you start thinking, “wait, am I weird for not having even thought of that? Or did the media make that up.”

One to put in “the media made that up” category include the sudden negative reporting at the tail end of Obama’s World Tour 2008. All week it was, Obama Wows Such and Such Foreign Leader, etc. But, as Bob Cesca pointed out in a recent post, the corporate media feel that any positive coverage of liberals (the Left, of course, just aren’t covered) with positive coverage of conservatives or negative coverage of liberals, even if they have to make it up.

So goes the sudden suggestion that Obama has to make sure not to appear “presumptuous” by appearing to be all like “I already won this shit” on his travels. Never mind that McCain took a similar tour in March, or that Republicans in part bullied Obama into doing it with their whole “McCain has spent a lot of time over seas killing people” argument.

It hadn’t occurred to me that there was something “presumptuous” about a presidential candidate and Senator going on a foreign tour. But if the AP, CNN, Fox and the New York Times say so, then maybe I’m wrong.

Anyways, what I find most presumptuous about Obama is his penchant for assuming that he deserves your vote whether or not you agree with his Wall Street friendly, anti-civil liberties, pro-Israel, Venezuela bashing, war in Afghanistan supporting, post-race politics...(Check out Adolph Reed's article on what's really going on with Obama. I do think he's wrong to say that it might be worse for the Left and the world if he wins...I think McCain, unfortunately, has to be stopped. So I'm holding my nose and...)

And really, each outlet used the same word—“presumptuous”—as if it was referring to some sort of external social fact. How does that happen? Having spent my first few days in a “press room” at the Ecuadorian National Constituent Assembly, I got a taste of how naturally group think sets in among journalists. Like any sub-culture, journalists naturally develop their own taboos (covering the Left) and totems (“balance” and “objectivity”).

Following up on Karadzic, two interesting articles. One from The Nation by Slavenka Drakulic that details how Karadzic the poet and Karadzic the killer were one and the same: "War criminals come from all social strata, from all kind of backgrounds. They are academics, writers or mechanics; waiters, bank clerks, peasants." Another article which argues that although the man is a true scum bag, the US and Europe are not exactly being judicious and evenhanded in supporting his prosecution at the Hague. Paul D'Amato argues that NATO and Bosnian leaders are also guilty of war crimes.

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