Lowering the Curve – The Media’s Mainstreaming of Lunacy

Nov 29 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Mainstream media falls over itself trying to present the grotesquerie of deranged GOP candidates as viable mainstream candidates when even the quickest peek at the facts calls into question not only their mainstream qualifications, but their sanity. You begin to wonder what a candidate must do or so to be considered even a little “off.” Even Rick Perry marrying American domestic and foreign policy to the most extreme elements of Christian fundamentalism in Houston did nothing to shatter the pretense that he was as mainstream an option as could be found.

We’ve seen how Bill Clinton tried to manipulate the media the other day with kind words spoken about Newt Gingrich. MSM loves this affirmation of a carefully maintained lie, not even bothering to question Clinton’s motives. Even academia gets involved: turn to CNN contributor Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, who in a recent piece titled What Newt Gingrich Offers the GOP actually seeks to ignore Gingrich’s many failings and present him as a candidate who “thrives when it comes to the politics of ideas.”

This is the same Newt Gingrich, keep in mind, favored as one of four religiously acceptable candidates by FAMiLY LEADER, the extremist group that says black “families” were better off as slaves than in a modern liberal democracy.

Mainstream and extremist-approved? One cancels the other out, doesn’t it? It’s like talking about dry water.

Zelizar positively oozes enthusiasm for Gingrich, the man who has sex with women he is not married to out of love for his country:

Rarely satisfied with the status quo, Gingrich likes to try pushing the boundaries of what his party stands for. “People overvalue money and undervalue ideas,” Gingrich recently told one newspaper. “That’s part of the core gamble of this campaign. I actually think ideas matter.”

But not facts, apparently.  Look at the fact checking the Washington Post did on Gingrich’s interview with Sean Hannity (another astoundingly productive liar) back in May. Gingrich’s lies were so outrageous that the Post titled their piece, “Newt Gingrich’s Pinocchio-laden debut.” And Perry has already undervalued the idea of the sanctity of marriage he claims he supports.

Zelizer presents Gingrich as an intellectual candidate:

His candidacy comes at a time when Republicans have not devoted much time to intellectual introspection. For decades, the party became comfortable with the privileges of power.

That is true and it’s only gotten worse. As David Frum remarked the other day in New York Magazine, “The tea party never demanded knowledge or concern for governance, and so of course it never got them.” But Newt Gingrich is not the solution, however much Zelizer wishes he was. Saying Newt Gingrich is a thinker because Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann so obviously are not is not really saying much. My seven-year-old puts forward more thought than either of the latter two candidates.

As Jason Easley wrote here a couple of weeks ago in the wake of the CBS News Republican debate, “Like Cain, Gingrich has got the art of delivering cheap applause lines down to a science.” And Zelizer seems to have mistaken bombast for intellect.

This seems to be a common problem and perhaps the GOP has simply lowered the curve but clever sound bites should not be mistaken for deep thought. A quip does not make for in-depth policy analysis.

And if Newt Gingrich is so smart, why does he act so dumb?  Why, if he is so sensible, does Newt Gingrich, like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, wants to start a war with Iran as soon as he is elected? Why, like most of the other Republican candidates, does he want to eliminate the EPA when the American public is overwhelmingly in support of the job its doing?

It’s almost as though the MSM media in general and Mr. Zelizer in particular, are listening too much to Gingrich talking about himself:

Newt when asked how he could be unfaithful and give a speech on family values: “It doesn’t matter what I do,” he answered. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”

Source: John H. Richardson. “Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican.” Esquire.com. 8/10/2010.

See? Even Newt says he has something to say and that what he has to say is more important than what anyone else to say, no matter how many wives he cheats on. Why does the MSM and Mr. Zelizer take him at his word? Shouldn’t the rest of what he has to say be taken under consideration as well? Like, oh, I don’t know, saying his patriotism is responsible for his cheating ways, or wanting to declare war on Iran?

These are not the utterances of a sane, reasonable, mainstream candidate.

Yet what we see from the MSM is what we see from Zelizer’s piece, namely that,

Gingrich [gives] Republicans a candidate who is thinking more seriously about what the party is trying to accomplish and how to command the loyalty of voters for years to come.

It is difficult to credit claims like this when what Gingrich is in fact saying is exactly identical to what every other Republican candidate is saying, with the possible exception of immigration policy. But immigration reform is not the only problem facing the United States, nor even its most important. We could credit Perry too for wanting to educate the children of illegal immigrants but no reasonable person would present Rick Perry as a mainstream candidate, and certainly not as a thinker.

What the MSM has done and continues to do is to play the sound bite game, same as the candidates, using whatever little speck of blue they see to claim there is not a cloud in the sky. The bigger picture is ignored. The tough questions are not asked. The dumb answers are not analyzed. The mainstream media, the allegedly “left wing media elite” lifts the Republican hopefuls up worshipfully before the American people and wants us to believe that if we bite into a shit sandwich, it won’t taste like shit. But shit is shit, and lipstick on a pig does not make the pig something other than a pig. The Republican Party and the MSM are selling America bill of goods and will continue to do so because as is true of every other corporate entity, it is in their best interest to do so.

But the Republican Party has no mainstream candidate to offer. They could no more find a mainstream candidate right now than water could fall upward. And its their own fault. They have so divorced themselves from reality – and from what the American people repeatedly state they want – in order to cater to the whims of a fanatic minority, that they have in essence become a fringe, regional party with national aspirations. It won’t work. Not even the right-wing corporate media can put enough lipstick on that pig.

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