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Post details: The Age of Mediocracy

The Age of Mediocracy

Our political system is labeled "Democracy", the rule of the people. But when you look closer underneath the veneer, you realize that apter name for our system of governance would be "Mediocracy", the rule of media. Under normal political circumstances, the news outlets would spend a few weeks evenly reporting on all presidential candidates, people would then mull it over and after some deliberation cast their vote. What the media do instead is choose their darlings - those perceived as most beneficial for the business of their biggest advertisers - and then spend the whole year relentlessly massaging the unsuspecting public. The game plan is very simple: put out a few flattering articles, bump up candidate's poll numbers by creative use of statistics and then exclaim in feigned surprise: "Oh my goodness, this candidate is rising like a meteor - we better cover him some more!" And the gullible electorate will swallow the bait with the hook.

The incessant fawning over the chosen ones knows no limits. At the height of the Iowa campaign, I looked up an article about Mike Huckabee to see what he is all about. The piece must have been written by a recently laid off Britney Spears paparazzi. Instead of dissecting his positions and his past, the article served an account of his chat with a woman whose Mom couldn't keep up with her medical expenses, followed by a thrilling narration in which he personally poured a cup of coffee for a voter. Wow, the guy knew how pour a cup of coffee all by himself! I just wished I could have run to the closest ATM and donated at least one thousand individually framed one dollar bills to his campaign.

Similarly, I would much rather hear what John McCain has to say about our overexposed banking system that watch him hoist a scaredy kid into the high air for the umpteenth time this week. But that, of course, might be much less ingratiating, especially since - according to his own admission - he doesn't really understand economy all that well. These touching vignettes remind me of the communist propaganda machine, which was bent on popularizing the sport of "child lifting", while brushing off the deteriorating realities of the Soviet bloc.

On the other end of the mediocratic machine there is a big silence for those that try to expose the status quo of the booming power-broking business. Which sort of makes sense - I mean the media must preserve their precious cash flows from ads and commercials so at the end it all comes down to: Grease our wheels or else! In the most recent installment of this comedy, the ultra-conservative Fox Network figured that Ron Paul had some nasty things to say about the warfare-welfare state, so without much ado they simply banned him from their TV debate, thereby giving the fair and balanced coverage a thick middle finger.

Media plays their "Ooops - we forgot to mention Ron Paul again" game so skillfully that most of bigheaded burgervores won't ever find out who he is and those who do assume that he has already dropped out. Newsweek recently mentioned that Huckabee raised 8M in the fourth quarter - a "best effort among Republicans" - conveniently glossing over Ron Paul's 19M. Not to be upstaged by a competitor, the TIME Magazine quipped that Republican candidates won't be happy about the NIE report as they were ALL engaged in significant saber-rattling against Iran. Naturally, there was no mention of Ron Paul's opposition to any unprovoked war, Iraq, Iran or otherwise. There used to be time when solid research was a prerequisite for journalism. TIME magazine's journalism is either sloppy or slanted.

The media's resolve not to cover Ron Paul is so consistent that it almost seems orchestrated. And there would have been plenty to report on. Dr. Paul cured tens of thousands from political apathy. Some of the people churning up hundreds of signs in their homes didn't even vote in previous elections. He has nearly 1500 self organized MeetUp groups, he has a Vegas festival - "the Paulapalooza" - dedicated to him, his chocolate bust is being auctioned off on eBay and he has his own Blimp - a promotional stunt conceived and paid for by his grassroots supporters. But you wouldn't know about it from watching the Old Media. They are too busy providing an in-depth analysis of what might Rudy Giuliani have for breakfast tomorrow.

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