Presidential election a giant media bonanza

Posted: Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The giant media bonanza, otherwise known as the 2008 presidential election, is in full swing, and we're all hotly debating the personal merits of two candidates from the D.C. power culture. One, an energetic up-and-comer with a background in constitutional law and the other, an old-timer, a veteran and former prisoner of war who has recently recast himself as a "maverick."

Then there are the vice presidential candidates, new ground for the profitable media stir. Joe Biden has to be the most experienced "Good Cop" in the business, and his voice sounds like the audio version of a Norman Rockwell painting. Although his many years chairing the Foreign Relations Committee might not have stood him in as good a stead as being the mayor of a small town in Alaska (which is near Russia), he nevertheless has an abundance of that rare quality - knowledge. It might not be marketable as such, but when he opens his mouth he seems to know what he's talking about, which is at least refreshing.

Then there's the "pit bull in lipstick," Sarah Palin. She too can address the cameras without a teleprompter. She's attractive, a solid representative of the Christian Right, and a member of a normal, off-the-wall American family. She sounds like the principal in "South Park" (where'd she get that Minnesota accent?), and hopefully she is well-intentioned, because she's shown she is not shy about going for the throat.

Absent from the show are any real issues, which hurts Obama more than anyone. As someone campaigning on the "change" platform, there's plenty to talk about, but instead he's allowing the smearmeisters of the Republican party to define him. Oh sure, the Democrats are trying to play catch-up in the ugly realities of "trial-by-media" but they come off sounding like a bunch of gossips at the Laundromat.

Did we start with a mob-mentality, or is that just the TV? The media is benefiting hugely from the political smackdown, but are we?

Meanwhile, the wheels are falling off the bus. The war continues, and it's bankrupting more than our economy. We're getting mugged by people that were yelling about "free markets" and deregulation; now they're crying, "Bailout!"

We sit in front of the TV and our minds are occupied territory. When are we going to wake up?

Jamison Paul


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