The numerous scandals brewing finally woke up a hypnotized mainstream media, but I want to talk about something else. During the Clinton impeachment drama, their spinmeisters hit the media – print and TV (lacking only to dominate talk-radio) with a relentless wave of media manipulation efforts. They floated deceptive language and phrases to try and confuse the American public into accepting that lying under oath was no big deal depending if the testimony pertained to personal sexual behavior. Along with the “it’s just about sex, sex, sex” line, they also used the “vast, right-wing conspiracy” as a diversionary tactic to convince the American people that Bill Clinton was a “victim”. Rehashing this old scandal is meant to illuminate a problem in America, that trickles down from the highest reaches of our government. Americans, by and large, take their personal liberty and the many blessings of living in a free society for granted.
The mass media manipulations (propaganda) will hit full-force as another corrupt administration tries to survive a series of scandals. The DNC, the Clinton political machine and President Obama with his army of far-left kooks and Chicago-type political operatives will feverishly work to contain these scandals. The Republican partisans will mobilize to capitalize on these scandals and make as much political hay as possible. Seeking the truth will not be the ultimate objective of either side’s efforts. Political objectives will fuel both sides. Even during President Reagan’s second-term, Iran-Contra marred his legacy and it pained me to see some of his cabinet testify using slippery language and, in my view, lie. Both political parties fall prey to lying way too often.
President Clinton’s poll numbers were touted by the Clinton mouthpieces endlessly during the impeachment saga to neutralize and derail the impeachment efforts. He governed using a finger-to-the-wind approach rather than from firm principled footing. To this day much of our news, from all political angles, is presented with polling data as the benchmark on issues. From impeachment to the present-day gay marriage – issues are sold to the American public, not on the merits of the issue, but on polling data. Once over 50% of the public can be cited as “supporting” that viewpoint, the media accepts that polling data as a reflection of the “will of the people“. What we’re being duped into believing is that if you can deceive, trick, and use mass media manipulation techniques (propaganda) effectively, then the end polling results are a true representation of the mainstream public’s position.
The merits of issues should be debated and argued, but to accept the end result of mass media manipulation campaigns, rather than demanding straight facts and the truth, jeopardizes the very foundation of our liberties. Polls reflect nothing more than the effectiveness of the propaganda efforts in America these days. It’s reached the point where reporters talk about the administration’s “narrative” without raising an eyebrow or murmuring even a few probing questions. We should demand the truth and facts, not settle for some slickly packaged “narrative”. An administration that can utter explanations such as the white girlfriend that President Obama talked about in his autobiography was a “composite” of white girlfriends, with no media alarm bells being sounded, highlights how bereft of principles both this administration and the media are. We can’t trust a mainstream media that is so blinded by partisan politics. And the Frank Luntz type of finding the “pulse” of America by how people “react” to certain phrases in speeches provides nothing more than data to be utilized by political propagandists. We need to try to get the American people to THINK about issues, which requires some time spent studying the issues and pondering the merits of both sides of an argument – not gauging superficial “reacting” on a second-by-second basis.
We need some calm, reasonable voices to remind people to put the partisan politics aside and demand to get to the ground truth facts, wherever they fall. Polling numbers reflect nothing more than the barometer of political polarization efforts being fueled by partisan political operatives. Polls do not reflect anything vital and we should demand that those in the media stop relying on polls as the determining factor on issues of great public import. Polls are about how people “FEEL‘”, not about what people “THINK” and hopefully we can get Americans to react less and think more. An informed opinion rests on taking the time to gather as many facts as possible, making a free press a vital link in the process. Maybe if we’re lucky our press will go back to demanding, “the facts” and let the political chips fall where they may.