I have already confessed my addiction to presidential politics, even the horserace aspects. But I might have to reject and denounce my media consumption after the embarrassing waste of two hours which was last night’s “debate” on ABC.
Almost one hour, HALF THE DEBATE, spent on political “gotcha” baloney before they bothered to ask a question about an actual issue affected by government. I expected some “small town bitterness” talk since that was the current discussion. But I did not expect to hear the words, after several other questions about him, “Do you think Rev. Wright loves America as much as you do?” Ah, the former volunteered-for-Vietnam Marine versus United States Senator patriotism-off . . . is there really any good answer here? Except perhaps “flag pins!” because I kid you not, that was also asked.
I half expected Who would win in a fight: Rev. Wright or a Bosnian sniper?
By the time they got to issues, my brain was too numbed to focus on them. Not much loss since the economy discussion centered largely on the capital gains tax—a burning issue affecting few blue-collar factory workers but 99.5 percent of debate moderators—and they also brought out such blasts from the past as gun control and affirmative action which don’t even register on the lists of issues Democratic voters are saying are important right now. Health care is high on that list but was not mentioned at all. Neither were the housing crisis, Afghanistan, education, torture, trade, or the environment. But we covered the flag pin issue!
Meanwhile, in the real world:
Your government now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records. This may include collecting and analyzing all electronic communications into and out of a city.
The cost of basic food items are soaring, bringing fear, riots, and hunger. World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the surging costs could mean "seven lost years" in the fight against worldwide poverty.
But did you hear about those things on the news? Probably not much. There isn’t enough airtime left after making sure we all know the Barack Obama bowled a 37 and had the audacity to request orange juice in a diner.
No, I’m not bitter. Not bitter at all.
So, the questions of the day: How do we make sure we are getting a balanced diet of news and information about issues? Do you trust the “mainstream media” to keep you informed? If not, what are you favorite “alternative” sources of national, world, political, cultural, and other news?
Back to the lighter side: There is always The Colbert Report, which is broadcasting from Pennsylvania this week. Michelle Obama (with whom I am in love) appeared this week and Hillary Clinton is appearing tonight. Who will get the coveted Colbert Bump?