When Are We Going to Demand that Journalists Report News?

Did you know that, the other day, Hillary Clinton pretty much guaranteed that, as president, she would wage war against Iran?

Well, if you read this blog (and keep reading and tell your friends, because we are just starting to make some serious waves, folks), you know this. This is what she said, in an interview with Christ Cuomo last week on "Good Morning America;"

"I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack
Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might
foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to
totally obliterate them."

We actually had a presidential candidate essentially declaring a continuation of the Bush foreign policy, in a year when we are all anxious to see the end of the Bush foreign policy, such as it is.

Yet, what was the main topic of conversation in the mainstream press last week? it was whether or not Barack Obama can win an election.

First, let me settle that stupid argument, may I? Thank you.

Barack Obama has won twice as many states as Hillary Clinton. He has received far more votes in primaries, and he’s won all but one caucus state. Pennsylvania is, and always has been an anomaly when it comes to Democratic politics. it has one of the most conservative Democratic constituencies in the country. it is not indicative of anything, except that conservative Democrats in Pennsylvania prefer Hillary Clinton.

I would also point out that the only states Clinton has won since Super Tuesday are Ohio and Pennsylvania (she didn’t win Texas). Ohio has an open primary system, and it was the first primary after the GOP decided its nominee, so it’s impossible to tell how many of those votes for Hillary were from Republicans trying to stir the pot. And Pennsylvania has the opposite problem; they’re a closed primary state, in that independents didn’t get their two cents. One of Obama’s strengths has been his appeal to independents. She, on the other hand, has shown no strength among independents, which actually makes her seem like the weaker candidate in November.

Pennsylvania doesn’t matter. And you know what else doesn’t matter?

We don’t give a damn about Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Last I heard, he’s not running for president. I also watched his interview with Bill Moyers Friday night, and a large portion of his speech before the NAACP over the weekend. This is a guy who speaks from his heart, and his heart hurts. He’s honest, and he’s blunt, but in no way does that man hate America.

We don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not Barack Obama knew William Ayers when they were both living in Chicago. For one thing, the Williams Ayers of today is a far cry from the William Ayers of 40 years ago. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, Ayers and his wife are downright "mainstream" these days:

Ayers is an informal adviser toMayor Richard M. Daley
and has been awarded more than $50 million in charitable grants for his
promotion of small schools as a solution to a crisis in education.
Dohrn (his wife) lectures widely on children’s law and serves on a variety of
boards and committees. Together, they have raised three boys in the
intellectual haven of Hyde Park, where Sen Barack Obama is a neighbor.

We don’t care if Obama wears a flag pin. In fact, anyone who actually wears one is committing a serious breach of flag etiquette, anyway. We don’t care whether some rightard pundit considers him "patriotic," and frankly, Obama has been running such a superb campaign so far, I’m thinking that all of the advice the pundits are offering is, shall we say, superfluous. Okay, let’s just say it’s vacuous and leave it at that.

Obama isn’t kidding when he calls this "silly season" in politics. Every pundit has his or her own idea as to what Obama should do, when the absolute reality is, NO ONE but the press is focusing on any of this extraneous bullshit. If the opinion writers and talkers in the press would quit flapping their goddamn gums for five minutes, they might actually find out that the general public, by and large, cares a hell of a lot more about the price of gas, the price of food, the looming food shortage, global warming, and the reputation of the United States around the world, than they do about what Obama’s pastor once said during a sermon, or whether or not he wears a goddamn flag pin.

The press is so big on lecturing everyone else on what an "elitist" Barack Obama is, but the fact of the matter is, they themselves seem to be completely out of touch with what Americans actually think and talk about. They tend to listen to the people with the biggest mouths, because they’re the easiest to hear, and well, most reporters and pundits are too lazy to try to dig a little deeper, and find out what’s really on people’s minds. They listen to talk radio, and think those callers represent the majority. They look at polls and think they know what people are thinking, which is purely ludicrous, and then report those polls as if they’re news.

Seriously; they report as fact that polls put Obama and McCain or Clinton and McCain in a dead heat in November. They always try some lame analysis, but in their analysis, they betray the fact that none of them has any real contact with any actual "regular people." They’re always trying to "explain" why the polls are "so close," and yet, the explanation is right in front of their face, and they ignore it in favor if "the big story." Do you want to know why the "race" between Obama and McCain is so close? It’s real simple. Suppose you’re a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter, and you want to prove she’s the stronger candidate against McCain. Now, if a pollster asks your preference between Obama and McCain, what are you going to answer? And if you’re the same type of Obama supporter, and the pollster asks you about Clinton and McCain, what will you answer?

Politics isn’t rocket science, folks, and yet all of these pundits keep trying to make us believe they’re as smart as rocket scientists. No matter how many times they get it all wrong, everyone acts surprised, but it’s not a surprise to those of us who are close to the ground, with our eyes and ears open.

The purpose of the press is supposed to be to impart information on us, and they pretty much no longer do that. Instead, they comb YouTube and look for something inflammatory, and don’t even question the context. They hear some schmuck like Sean Hannity talk about some rumor regarding Barack Obama, and they repeat it without question, because it sounds good. What they don’t do is dig deep, and find out the truth about a subject. They stir up controversy, they build candidates up and they tear them down, but they almost never report on actual facts about actual stories that actually make a difference in people’s lives.

The fact that Hillary Clinton has threatened to nuke Iran is far more newsworthy than Reverend Wright emerging to clear his sullied name. The fact that John McCain now only wants to continue the Iraq boondoggle for many years to come, and still doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate between Sunni and Shia is far more newsworthy than whether or not Obama wears a flag pin.

I’m sick of this, people; it’s time we started putting the media’s feet to the fire. They need to start reporting more actual news, and stop making it up out of whole cloth.

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