I have in other places claimed and, hopefully, argued well that that scoundrel of mid-century politics and disgraced president, Richard Nixon, had much to do with the degradation of American democracy--though it was inevitable that advertising and marketing would become the lingua franca of our political process. And elsewere I have bemoaned the virtual disappearance of those singular journalists and reportorial voices with original points of view--the journalism of the pack (which often includes feeble references to the existence of such a thing) having become the current rising tide. Mailer, Izzy Stone, Jules Feiffer, Murray Kempton, Hunter S. Thompson, Tim Cruise, Michael Thomas, Michael Ventura--where are they?
But that's grist for another grinding.
Thankfully there are now easily accessed alternatives to the gibberish and blather of the television world. (Can someone explain to me what CNN's claim of being the number one election center means and why Wolf Blather needs to repeat such claims endlessly?) Anyway, I came away from the last (so-called) presidential debate (less candidates Bob Barr and Ralph Nader) dismayed. John McCain continued to expose his lack of impulse control and made his desperation frighteningly prominent. Really, does he believe that Barack Obama (a United States senator, like himself) is a terrorist? Either way one answers that, does it put McCain in a favorable light? And, as Obama succinctly pointed out (at 37 minutes and 20 seconds in), this line of attack says more about McCain than about Obama.
A few exceptions to note:
- Donna Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 campaign manager and Democratic party operative
- Comedian Sara Silverman's savvy and very amusing political strategy
- And an interesting follow-up to the Great Schlep