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AdLib On November - 19 - 2014

Memento Media1

Remember the clever movie Christopher Nolan directed before his Dark Knight trilogy, “Memento”? In the film, the lead character suffers from a form of amnesia that wipes out his memories of what he’s just done. Who would have thought the U.S. corporate news media would have seen that character as a role model?

A few facts that the MSM (and some Democrats) have instantly forgotten in their scramble to promote the meme that this year’s election expressed a profound statement by the American People:

  • In the election this month, only 36% of eligible voters voted.
  • Most of those were Republicans.
  • This election pattern is identical to 2010 and nearly all off year elections (the party out of power typically wins seats in Congress due to dissatisfaction with the party of the President).
  • Republicans represent about 30% of voters but are more aggressive about voting…especially when a black man is in the White House.
  • A majority of Americans would actually be 51%.

So let’s put some of these simple facts together. 36% of Americans voted in this election. Around 30% of Americans are Republicans. Republicans were far more motivated to vote by fear of Ebola/ISIS/Our Muslim Socialist Black President destroying our country/Obamacare/etc. Democrats were far less motivated to vote by their candidates trembling, “We may be Democrats but we hate our party’s leader almost as much as the Republicans hate him so vote for us…instead of the Republicans because…er…if you want to vote against Obama, why not vote for cowards running away from him who are in the same party he’s in?” What could be more motivating to the Dem base than that?

Time to get real. This was an off year election in which Republicans were overrepresented at the polls as usual but despite that, the votes Democrats received diminished the Repubs share of that 36% total percentage of voters. So, what percentage of voters actually voted for the Republicans?

Let’s be generous and say that Republicans on average beat Democrats in the election (keeping in mind the elections Dems won) by 10%, which is being very generous to them. So out of the total of 36% of eligible voters having voted, we’ll estimate 55% of that went to Repubs and 45% went to Dems (some did go to independents but just ballparking here). That means that out of 100% of eligible voters, only around 19% of American voters voted for Republicans. In other words, Democrats should be running scared and pressured to go along with Republicans because 81% of U.S. voters didn’t vote for Republicans?

That’s the new MSM Math. There have been a flood of articles and newscasts excitedly attacking Dems as being on the run from the Republicans and the American people…because 19% of American voters voted for Republicans in this election. If I can do this simple math, why can’t the news media? If I can remember what happened 4 years ago and nearly every 4 years before that, why can’t they? With all their archives, staff and resources, if I can remember that Dems won the previous election in 2012 by a landslide and the one 4 years earlier in 2008 just as sweepingly, why can’t the news media remember that and put some big picture perspective on what was in fact a very marginal and predictably year-based win by Repubs?

Are they ready for a co-starring role in “Memento 2 – The Forgotten Voters!”?

Or…do they intentionally ignore and obscure the past and the big picture of politics because the most profitable path for their business is to keep people in a highly agitated state by exaggerating the impact and immediacy of every new meme or event? When they slap “Breaking News!” over everything from Justin Bieber’s lawyers attending a scheduled hearing to stories that are days or even weeks old (“Breaking News: Ebola is still scary!”), when they dwell on a small story just because they have a looping video of it that is provocative, when they repeat the intentionally offensive ravings of Republican Tea Party Congresspeople as if it’s newsworthy or legitimate debate, it’s all so clear.

As long as they convince Americans that whatever is happening next is what Americans should fear, hate or cheer, then Americans will need to stay avidly and addictively tuned into them.  It’s a zero sum game for them, they need people to only focus on the immediate and absolutely not put things in context with recent history or the bigger system in which all of this is happening.

As others have mentioned, isn’t it interesting how castrating hogs got a ton of media attention but The Kochs and their cohorts using hundreds of millions to essentially destroy parts of our democratic system by buying Congresspeople and elections, got virtually no attention? Way to go corporate news media! Thanks for focusing on what really makes a difference to Americans, ball-less hogs (no, I’m not talking about the cowardly anti-Obama Dems this cycle…but I could be!).

Maybe this is an eclectic double feature, Memento and The Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…because we’re reporting Breaking News, ISIS is coming over the border to behead you!”

Within the context of the many fear-mongered “epidemics” over the years that the news media told us were each about to bring Armageddon to America, Mad Cow Disease, Avian Flu, anthrax attacks, Y2K, Killer Bees, etc., an honest media would have assured Americans that Ebola is likely not going to become an epidemic any more than the other things feared over the years. Instead, they dishonestly played the ‘both sides” crap by broadcasting both the voices of reason and panic. “What’s the ultimate truth that applies to all of us? You decide!” No. We don’t decide on what’s ultimately true, we’re supposed to recognize and accept it together as a people in order to work together to deal with it (like Climate Change?).

If the news media really wanted Americans to see the “You Are Here” on the map of our society, they would have cast this recent election in the light of what has been going on over the last several elections and recognized that since Republicans won a majority of a small number of voters, their victory was idiosyncratic and not reflective of the will of a majority of Americans. 19% of voters voted Republicans! 81% didn’t! Right, it’s a mandate! And by the way, does the news media ever hold Republicans’ hypocritical feet to the fire by confronting them with the fact that when Obama won his elections by far bigger amounts of voters, the Republicans rejected the concept of a mandate for him and claimed, “We need to serve the views of the people who put us here!”

One can only hope that the Mementoesque amnesia promoted by our corporate news media, that there is no past to remember and all that matters is what we panic you over today and tomorrow, has a bit of blowback and those loyal viewers and readers of corporate news wake up one morning and completely forget about them too.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

21 Responses so far.

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  1. pinkpantheroz says:

    Breaking News!! A huge crowd gathered today in the Mall of the Americas to watch a Minor celebrity from ‘Survivor’ open an envelope.

    • Nirek says:

      This sounds like all the other “Breaking news” stories. Much to do about nothing.
      My granddaughter was in a play a couple weeks ago by Shakespere “Much ado about nothing”.

  2. Aquarius 1027 says:

    Hi, AdLib- Completely agreed, there is too much disinformation given by the MSM. I have no interest in so many biased opinions that are spouted as somehow significant when actually they are nothing but deceptions. And those who allow such squawking are nothing but peddlers of political agendas. -- I cringe every time I hear a GOP say that “the American people have spoken”, it is such total nonsense. -- Thanks for a great article!

  3. jjgravitas says:

    Don’t the Koch’s Own the media? At the very least, the Koch’s pay the media billions to run commercials on he media for the products made by their various companies. And now they own the Republican Party. Unfortunately, I don’t expect to see any truth from the media any time soon.

  4. monicaangela says:

    Citizens United….that’s all you really have to know. What happened when corporations gained the ability to buy politicians and elections. The MSM, well who gets the profits from the wealthy and other corporations during elections? None other than the MSM. First of all, these are corporations themselves that do the bidding of fellow corporations and wealthy citizens who are able to increase their bottom line. The MSM in return backs fellow corporations that need them to influence citizens so that they can continue to operate in a manner that is not good for the nation or the people that live in this nation.

    The majority of the large donors are gamblers, big oil corporations, and they not only donate during elections, they own K Street and operate 12 months of the year to influence politicians so they can acquire the legislation necessary. You know, people who have something to gain from the millions and now billions they pour into elections. Republicans just happen to be more lockstep, and more often on the side of these corporations that are harming the nation. Democrats are unsure how to respond because with a government that has fallen to the level our government has, they feel threatened by the support that is coming from these corporations.

    The majority of the time utilized by a politician while in office is spent raising money to run their next campaign. How will democrats compete if the majority of the wealthy donors are backing republicans who go along with the agenda of the corporations no matter who gets hurt in the process, how can they compete when corporations could care less about the manner in which republicans are trying to limit the vote through various tactics. What do these corporations care as long as what republicans are doing works, I mean after all, politicians on the local level are allowing these corporations to write legislation, and quiet as it’s kept, maybe even on Capital Hill as well.

    Why were dems running away from the President? Because in our system you have to pay to play, you have to receive donations and be willing to compromise your principles if you want to stay in office. I believe democrats and republicans have been bought by Wall Street, large corporations, and the wealthy in this nation who may or may not own a corporation. It appears the MSM only does what other large corporations tell them to do, after all that is how they stay in business. So who owns the MSM? Here’s a list that should be an eye opener for those who do not know. For those who do know it should be noteworthy that in a country with a population of more than 316 million so few control so much:


    I don’t believe we should be puzzled or even wonder why our elections turn out the way they do. If current trends continue, if Citizens United remains the law of the land, this will only get worse.

    • RSGmusic says:

      HI MA , really like your post.

      long life!!

    • AdLib says:

      Monicaangela, no question that the biggest attack on our democracy in recent history has surprisingly come from our Supreme Court in their Citizens United ruling. Their twisted interpretation of The Constitution is that The Founders wanted money to have more power in elections than citizens. And money is speech? I’ve heard of free speech but never free money.

      The only way to get out from under the yoke of plutocratic domination of our elections is for the balance of the Supreme Court majority to change to the Progressive side. One hopes that could happen after 2016 as long as a Dem is elected President.

      Then hopefully a suit against Unlimited SuperPACs can make its way to the SCOTUS and the CU ruling can be reversed.

      Until or unless that happens, we’ve got a difficult fight on our hands to retain what remains of our democracy, only GOTV can counter those billions.

      • monicaangela says:

        From a 2010 article in the New York Times:

        The ruling represented a sharp doctrinal shift, and it will have major political and practical consequences. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision to reshape the way elections were conducted. Though the decision does not directly address them, its logic also applies to the labor unions that are often at political odds with big business.

        The decision will be felt most immediately in the coming midterm elections, given that it comes just two days after Democrats lost a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and as popular discontent over government bailouts and corporate bonuses continues to boil.

        President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”

        Truer words were never spoken, and it appears what Adam Liptak of the Times wrote has come to pass.

        You can read his article by following this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • James Michael Brodie says:

      Thank you, Monica.

      Not puzzled, but very concerned. We are becoming a nation more an more at war with itself, crabs in a barrel, with a lot of the crabs blind to their own identity.

      While big money rakes in the profits, the rest of us are left to battle for the scraps, pitting one against the other in a domestic battle royale that even Ralph Ellison could not have envisioned.

      A trip online to the various comments sections shows us where we are, who we are — factioned off in us vs them camps, seeing only the worst in each other, wanting the government to wipe out the other, not aware that in doing so it is simply preparing for its next target.

      “Massawesick” is a term often used to describe the houseworkers who thought they had it better than those in the fields. Today, that same dynamic is true, with those who think they “have” looking down in disgust over those they see as less than.

      You are correct, my friend, in saying as long as Citizens United runs our country, things will only get worse. And the only person in DC telling us that — other than Ms. Warren — will be gone in two years…

      • monicaangela says:

        Exactly JMB…funny how history keeps repeating itself, even if this strategy does continue to show up in different forms “Massawesick” today can be interpreted as “The In Crowd,” those believing somehow they will be saved from the whip and hard work because they hold a higher position or a safer position in society than others.

        Climate change won’t distinguish between wealthy or poor, weak or strong when these new world pirates damage the earth to the point where we can’t breathe, can’t grow, or can’t stay cool enough or warm enough. We, all living creatures depend on these things and can’t live without them. What will happen when we can no longer breathe the air or grow food to eat or have clean water to drink? What will all the wealth building do for us then?

        Allowing a body such as the Supreme Court to make decisions that are not good for the nation or the world without questioning it is also a problem, and a mistake the citizens of this nation are making. How can so many allow 5 men to make a decision as great as what these justices have made without raising the roof is beyond me.

        Have we become dumbed down to point where we are less intelligent than the serfs during fuedalism? The decisions these 5 men have made will effect us all, those of us in this nation and many around the world. Those decisions will eventually effect even those who because of greed feel they are gaining something by buying members of or influencing the members of the Supreme Court who adhere to their backward ideology.

        Good hearing from you again, happy you agree. Hope all is well with you and yours, take care.

      • Nirek says:

        One correction, Brodie. Senator Bernie Sanders also is telling people the truth about Citizens United. Otherwise , you are absolutely correct.

  5. James Michael Brodie says:

    Great article, my friend. I wonder if the Dems lost because they refused to back Obama. Perhaps voters stayed home to send them a message. I dunno.

    On a similar note, I am thinking of doing a piece on how I am now a racist, based on my conversations over at Yahoo. I am going to try to complile the best bits, then I will throw myself on your mercy and seek forgiveness.

    I know, I know. You warned me. You told me to avoid them…

    Anyway. Stay tuned.


    • AdLib says:

      Hey James, thanks so much! I do think that Dems undermined themselves by fearfully fleeing from and criticizing Obama and not running on all the successes of the Obama Admin. Talk about an enthusiasm killer!

      I look forward to your racist piece and tip my hat to you for enduring that madness on the Yahoo Comments From Hell.

  6. RSGmusic says:

    HI AdLib,

    YA money can influence elections.

    In 2016 the Democrats may have a bigger election day then most people think. the GOP has to defend 26 senate seats and the democrats just 10 in Dem favored states.

    Also the Red states in a presidential election have not enough e college votes so the GOP stats about 100 points behind.

    Also Obama is not running again. Obama care in two yrs will be even more popular.

    Democrats turn out strongly in presidential elections and could bury the GOP for president and lose perhaps 11 seats in the senate.

    A excellent article!!

  7. Nirek says:

    Ad, there is something wrong with our system of running elections. MONEY! Citizens United, the worst decission the SC ever made. The MSM is owned and run by BIG corporations. People listen to one or another. It really doesn’t make any difference because the corporate “news” stations all did the same thing. Make a big deal about junk “news” but never call out the lies that are “reported”.

    I agree with your post, completely.

    • AdLib says:

      Nirek, and yet almost NOTHING was discussed in the MSM about how money dominated this election. Because of course, the same corporations that own the media are contributing right alongside all the other corporations to buy elections.

    • James Michael Brodie says:

      Indeed, Nirek. Plessy was a mere practice run compared to Citizens United.

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