Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Money, Media and the Madness of Crowds

While it is undeniably true that the media can be bought by whoever has the most money to spend on their marketing (propaganda) campaigns, I think Senator McCain should be commended for honoring his pledge not to allow the presidency to be bought -- but earned through authentic contacts with the people.

That is the disturbing thing about these media reports about who has the most money to spend -- as though one was a fool to deprive the media of their "take" upfront. But hopefully, the American public can recognize these abuses and will value those who can't be bought.

That's the better choice for president -- and the people who surround him/her.

One of the unfortunate things about being a writer, or a media celebrity, is that one doesn’t get paid for saying and being themselves -- but are at the beck and call of whoever pays the bills. That point is usually lost in their protestations of “objectivity” and fairness that once used to be the objective of at least the reporting professions. Now, one can usually assume the bias and partisanship, whether there is a disclaimer at the beginning and the end. If they had no self-interest, we wouldn’t see them in the first place.

This cult of celebrity feeds on itself -- so that one only is a somebody, if that mediated world makes one so -- and any other accreditation and validation has no meaning -- in that fabricated world. That’s why the “Oprahs” and the other high-priests of media are so self-important -- in determining what and who is known -- which has come to eliminate virtually all those with authentic and legitimate qualifications, in favor of those who play the “media game” best -- and have the money to spend.

Formerly, that was not a trait highly valued -- but in the mass media age, is the only qualification. Thus, the only expertise now sought among many politicians, are the unscrupulous spin doctors who pride themselves that they can get the public to believe anything, and attack and discredit those who won’t go along.

We see this being played out in the pages of the old media meeting the new, where there are countless defenders of the media hierarchy, who believe they are just one character assassination away from their own show -- and will do and say anything to get it.


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