Sunday, May 01, 2011

The opinion machine

There is a news disease going around. It is making sure that people whose names should not ever even be under discussion are becoming so well-known that the message becomes thoroughly muddled. The media have made no bones about whom they like when it comes to future candidates for President. Both the left and the right have their favorite names, and they love to tell mostly about the bad qualities about those candidates they really dislike.

I happen to watch the liberal media more than the conservative ones. But the candidates they would prefer are completely buried under the barrage of negative news.

So here we have Donald Trump being covered to the n-th degree about a not-so-new quest for a "real" birth certificate of our current President. There was Huckabee with a similar interest. It is really unimportant who all wanted to get into the act by simply stating something completely off-the-wall in order to get noticed. There are Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and all kinds of other folk. And the media are having a field day. As a matter of fact the mantra--for anyone who wanted to jump into the fray of possible contenders--was stating something ludicrous, and the media would carry on naming these people over and over again. The media don't seem to get it. It doesn't really matter how name recognition happens. Whether in a negative context or a positive one, people become important when their names are recognized.

Now to my point: When a person says something or does something really outlandish, that person should be excluded from the news and not honored even with negative coverage.

Covering a person's negative side is awarding that person much too much attention. Many people, who listen or watch, often can only remember the name and not the context, especially if a pretty face (Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin) or big hair (Donald Trump) are associated with them. It doesn't seem to matter what anyone says today. They can say the opposite tomorrow, and tomorrow's utterance will be the valid one with quite a bit more name recognition. That also goes for the very clean-scrubbed Mitt Romney who not too long ago touted the health-plan that he instituted in Massachusetts and is now claiming is ill-advised as a plan for the United States.

It is a disservice to the serious candidate to drown him or her out with the hogwash of second-rate leaders, and these people are covered by the news media because it is more entertaining. It is no wonder that we have had such lack of leadership in government lately. The "Fourth Estate" has taken over. The money comes from who knows where. Since according to Mitt Romney corporations are people, we all of a sudden have something akin to Trojan hoses maskerading as individuals. For this reason we get people who attained top spots in government because of their entertainment value (President Ronald Reagan, the former actor, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former body builder).

The coverage should only go to contenders with a serious message, not to those who lack the quality of leadership it takes to govern a country that is in real need of somebody competent.


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