Most of the exaggerated offenses being profitably proffered by the right-wing propaganda machine are seemingly harmless when examined as single events.
As Phillip Alotta writes, “Just the other day, Fox, aired a segment about the President’s failure to issue an Easter Proclamation –ignoring the fact that Bush and Reagan both did the same thing. It was not a fabrication but it was a non-story.”
As an individual non-story being disguised as a news item this seems harmless enough. But when added together with a constant stream, its accumulative effect results in a distorted notion of this president’s performance.
For instance, in a Washington Post poll, when asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?,” 55 percent said No!
Granted this president has succeeded and failed given the circumstances he was handed when he took office. Like his predecessors, he has had to deal with a deck not of his own dealing too. So this is not a rant about how well or not he is doing. It’s about the incessant flow of media flotsam and jetsam offered in the place of news.
For instance this story, “President Obama’s recitation of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is sparking hysteria from the right-wing media who slammed the president for omitting the phrase “under God.” But ironically, in their hurry to attack the president, they omitted the fact that Obama was reading the first draft of the speech — a draft that did not include “under God” — at the request of filmmaker Ken Burns.”
My question is, to what end? Why is it necessary to create and report exaggerated offenses that fog the airwaves and make this president look incompetent?
Two reasons I can think of. Reason one, it builds viewership and readership by solidifying the loyalty of those who already consider him to be a failure? In other words, it builds a following? That means numbers and numbers mean advertisers. Of course, you know that advertisers mean more potential profits!
And the second reason is that no one with an ounce of self respect could defend the disastrous performance of the previous Republican administration so the only defense is to create sufficient BS to obfuscate the truth about this president’s success at fixing the problems he was handed.
So while a few people get rich in the process and the Republicans can feel a little better about the mess they’ve created, the country suffers a distorted view that increasingly sickens and further weakens our society.
You see, the most pernicious aspect of this kind of distorted reporting is that although an unimportant incident might contain an element of truth, it is irrelevant. But the fact that there is a truth embedded in the item gives credence to other news items that stretch the truth beyond the breaking point. It’s like how easy it is to believe that a person is guilty of a crime if he has a record of arrests even if none of those arrests ever led to a conviction?
Now we have a main stream media that offers false equivalence instead of accurate reporting, leaving average consumers to choose what truth to believe. Unfortunately, we can now see the results in our inability to elect candidates who are competent and willing to do the business of the people.
As long as we allow ourselves to be duped into believing the negativity surrounding this president we will look to the person most unlike him the next time. And the charade will continue.
Bertrand Russell, gave us this to consider, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
So if you are so certain of Mr. Obama’s failures, what group of people do you belong to?