Audio Attitude Exploring situational influence on attitude and behavior.

August 26, 2008

Gluttons of Nonsense in a Land of Plenty Under a Falling Sky

Filed under: america,attitude,campaign — Tags: , , , , , — Brian @ 7:57 pm

The media acts like the Denver sky is falling because some polls show Obama behind McCain. Look at this from the evening front page over at Real Clear Politics.

Glimpse of Hysteria

Giving attention to what people say before Thursday is generally a waste of cognitive resources. Pre-Thursday hype is little more than an orgy of over-acting by a cast of politicians. Nonetheless, I do love the show. But what a stupid time to poll the public.

Remember a convention is not a pre-arranged wedding. Hillary people are there to support Hillary. Why is this so difficult to understand? Obama people support Obama. Everybody goes to Denver to rant and rave for a few days about their candidate and their pet issues. Two days later the party wizards perform magic and the Dems are mesmerized into inviting Obama home for some luvin’. The luvin’ will happen. But, not before Bill yells “last call” Wednesday night. Everyone knows the Clintons are masters who will ignite the enthusiasm of most Hillary supporters who will start to feel the Obama luv by Wednesday close of business. The Hillary people not on board by Thursday are Democrat frauds and should go start their own party or go over and kick the GOP while it is down.

Thursday is when true Democrats will come together in a giant mutual Obamagasm. Four years ago it was Kerryasm. Four before it was Goreasm. This year, the “asm” just goes better with the name Obama.

The weekend will show Obama’s expected brief bump in the polls. It won’t last, however.

Be sure to tune in for all the pundit hand-wringing next week when McCain’s poll numbers get goofy sometime around Wednesday. Those numbers will stabilize and be very close to Obama’s by the following weekend until the election. Why?

Because the media has mostly forgotten there is a huge difference between fair and balanced (thanks Rupert Murdock and FOX). If media see dirt about a candidate media scamper to find equal dirt on the other candidate. If media only report hard news they are labeled a bully by the newsworthy candidate. The media fall for it every time.

Brilliant. Not brilliant because media fall for it, but brilliant because the corporations that own the media know a tight dirty race makes good television and it sells newspapers and pays the talking heads and gives dividends to retired shareholders.

With so many microphones and cameras these days there is no shortage of material. Plenty of lies, distortions, and pot-stirring to go around. The result? Equal poll numbers until the election.

CNN’s “Keepin’ ’em honest” slogan is not actually what they and their colleagues do best. In fact all big media should be honest and adopt the slogan about their reporting on political candidates “Big Media – keeping ’em even.”

Media trash, doubt-monger, or swift-boat any candidate moving too far ahead in the polls.

See the problem here? We ignore issues because media irrationally embrace an erroneous definition of “fairness” as meaning “balanced.”

Much of this reductionism to labels, slogans, and truth is a norm of Western culture where we are compelled to find ONE CAUSE for each phenomenon we encounter. We regard with suspicion ambiguous or complex information as less-than-truthy because it doesn’t feel or sound truthy to our stimulus-craving hyper-aroused and attention-disabled FOX News “fair AND balance” conditioned brains.

To reach a Western “truth”:

Step 1: Instantly form a belief about something or someone. (Really, we do it all the time)
Step 2: Scavenge for evidence in support of the belief. (Pay no attention to non-supporting evidence.)
Step 3: Enjoy the resulting “know-it-all” nirvana.
Step 4: Roll eyes when someone doesn’t “get” the truth.
Step 5: Hang out with other people who “get” your truth.

Media talking heads don’t get famous and rich saying “I don’t know.” That boring uncertainty we assign to scientists paid on a scale commensurate to their charm. We smug gluttons of truthy-sounding nonsense giddily wallow our vast land of all-knowing plenty while secretly hoping the sky waits a little longer to fall.

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p.s. I drink Obama Kool-aid. What do you drink?

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