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Off and Running, and Still Way Off

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by Daithí Mac Lochlainn

Now, that the 2008 Presidential race is heating up with Senator Hillary Clinton’s announcement of her candidacy, it is important to take in the news reports (or lack thereof) thoughtfully and analytically.

Recently, Noam Chomsky made the following observation about political coverage on the part of U.S. mainstream media:

“Just to give one last illustration, I was driving home from work the other day and torturing myself by listening to NPR...But they had a section on Barack Obama, the great new hope. And it was very exuberant: what a fantastic personality he is and a great candidate, thousands of people coming out. And it went on for about 15 minutes of excited rhetoric. There's only one thing missing. They didn’t say a word about what his policies were on anything.”

Professor Chomsky’s comments about the media’s reportage on Senator Obama are applicable to coverage of all candidates. Americans today tend to be overly practical in regard to politics, while eschewing ideology.

For this reason, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would do well to remember that the Democrats did not win last November's elections.

Rather, the Republicans lost!

Six years ago, a repeated failure gained enough votes to fudge his way into the White House, because Karl Rove convinced voters that he could “get the job done”, whatever that job might be.

Mention “Neo-Conservatism”, the driving force for the Dubya Administration’s foreign policy (Other than savaging the Bill of Rights, do they even have a domestic policy?), and most Americans, even and perhaps, especially, Bushling-voters will give you the usual blank stares.

The mainstream media is of no help here, given their near total disregard for the issues.

A cursory attempt to research Senator Obama’s positions yields little enlightenment. Some of what I read about his is favorable. Some of what I read is disturbing.

Senator Clinton, on the other hand, has a longer record on Capitol Hill and her positions are easy to discern for those interested.

For me, her voting record on the Iraq War, her statements with reference to a just Israeli-Palestinian peace, and sources for campaign contributions completely disqualify her for the Presidency of the United States.

Her other positions also require scrutiny.

Senator Clinton’s entrance into the race may be the political story of the year.

However, the Senator is not an enigma herself as much as is the public’s perception and response to her.

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why “liberals” love her, and “conservatives” loathe her, other than ignorance or disregard of her positions on the vital issues of our day.

 

Video Suggest by Commenter added:

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The media regularly use public opinion polls in their reporting of important news stories. But how exactly do they report them and to what end? In this insightful and accessible interview, Professor Justin Lewis demonstrates the way in which polling data are themselves used by the media to not just reflect what Americans think but instead to construct public opinion itself. Addressing vital issues (e.g., the role the media play in "manufacturing consent" for political elites, what polls really tell us about public opinion, what Americans actually think about politics), Constructing Public Opinion provides a new way to think about the relationship between politics, media and the public.

Exploding the myth that most Americans are moderate or conservative, Constructing Public Opinion demonstrates the way in which political elites help to promote the military industrial complex and how the media sustains belief in an electoral system with a built-in bias against the interests of ordinary people. Well illustrated with graphics and many examples of media coverage, it is the first film of its kind to present a critical analysis of media and public opinion.
 

 

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