Last Friday, when Senator John McCain made the announcement of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate, the first public reaction was – “Who?”
Okay, the first reaction actually was – “What the ****?” followed by “Who?” as the media collectively scrambled and stumbled over their feet racing out the door to find out more.
My initial assessment, being a political junkie of sorts was “Uh, oh.” I had a very real worry that the media, which has given a very good impression all year of being a Democrat-hating, sexist ball of sleaze, would just lavish a lotta love over this photogenic Miss Congeniality with 5 kids(talk about family values). I even put up a diary about this over at Daily Kos, at which point I was pounced upon by Kossacks( not as good as it sounds!) with the most charitable comment being “Just wait and see, you troll.”
And wow, for this Democrat, Ms. Palin seems to have turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving. In the last 5 days, we have found out that she supported the bridge to nowhere before the federal funds dried up, actually hired a lobbyist to get earmarks as Mayor of the cute little town of Wasilla( pop. ~6000. I anticipate a geo bee question) and is currently embroiled in a scandal involving abuse of power. Who would have thunk?
Through all these sansani khez( pardon the Hindi but no other word conveys this better) revelations, the big surprise has been the role of the media. Apologies, guys. Here I was thinking you were trashing Obama and Hillary because of some corporate-military-industrial- complex conspiracy.
Nah, you’re just pimps. In this particular case it so happens that you ended up actually doing your job, which is to bring facts to light that would have otherwise remained buried. Unfortunately, the collective force of the blogosphere, youtube and “the Google” won’t let you do that anymore. I know you are trying your best to make it sound like there focus is all on personal, National Enquire-led, pregnancy-related juice, but the other stuff is bubbling up, seeping truth, slowly but surely.
Maybe you’re beginning to figure out that the typical couch potato is slowly drifting away to football and”Fear Factor” and that the real viewership and readership numbers are online, which is dominated by people who are literate and can think for themselves. Maybe the success of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow is opening your eyes to the fact that facts have a liberal bias and if you want to keep your brushed and pomaded self on TV, you need to pander to the current audience, not the one you’ve been lying and obfuscating to so far.
Maybe you’ve grown a conscience? Haha…
Whatever the reason, this viewer/reader is quite happy that at least some of you are beginning to ask the tough questions of the right people, and making sure we, the people, hear the real answers. Some of you can only do it when the mics are supposed to be off, and that’s ok too..I consider it a sign of progress. Maybe one day the US media will wake up to its role as a watchdog of democracy and be ashamed to admit that it is complicit in the fact that one candidate is successful because of his/her overwhelming support among uneducated people. Maybe it will realize that when it uses a term like “low-information voters”, what it is really saying is it is not doing its job.
Maybe not. Sigh.
Maybe it is up to us everyday folk, armed with the tools that technology has put at our disposal, to keep spreading the word, becoming a quasi media, till our voices are so loud that they are heard over the noise of the idiot box, over the chatter of the talking heads whose IQs are in inverse proportion to their hair, over the clamor of the ignorant and the naive, the reactionary and the ridiculous, flexing the muscle of our reach and our collective advertising power till we prevail.
Thank you Sarah Palin. Thanks in no small part to you, the media is getting vetted.