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.