Saturday, October 09, 2004

Good Morning America

Here in America we go through this dance ever four years in which two slick salesmen, with a crackerjack support crew, give us the ultimate sell job. They try to sell themselves to us. If enough people buy they get a cool address on Pennsylvania Avenue for the next four years, the greatest collection of toys in the world (what boy hasn't wanted his own real army to play with?), and good tee times at Pebble Beach for the rest of his life. Not to mention the girls. Many of them seem to be turned on by this whole "most powerful man in the world" thing. The suits, the security, the army, the house, the women, everything--it is the biggest power trip in the world. In the media we pander to these yahoos. Even when, as in last night's debate, the candidates address the issues, clearly outline their differences and challenge one another on their positions (both of them did a very good job last night), we are more interested in handicapping a horse race then reporting on a presidential race. But the real whores of all this are the spin doctors. The spin begins early in a debate, one or two days ahead of time. Talking points go out to both sides in anticipation of what they expect from the other guy. How many of Mr. Bush's boot lickers last night, immediately after the debate, described Mr. Kerry as "haughty?" It was obviously what they'd been told to say by Karl Rove's spin team, and they all marched in lock step and stayed on message. The same was true of Kerry's troops. Both sides insist that their side won. It is not in the way my mom and my girlfriend see that their side has won, hearing what they want to hear from their guy and insisting the other guy looked like a blithering idiot (and yes, they will be voting for different candidates in November). The spin guys, both the pros in each campaign, the media whores like Sean Hannity and Michael Moore, and us bloggers, try to influence how people saw the debate by insulting the other guy and glorifying our own. We bald face lie to you because we know that if it gets into the Saturday papers that our guy has won the debate it could influence the polls on Sunday and, hopefully, the vote. It's all garbage. It doesn't mean anything. But this is a horse race--or a whore's race--not a presidential race, and we will whip our mount down the home stretch. And when, as last night, both candidates truly looked presidential, we do a huge disservice to everyone who listens to us by slinging mud instead of discussing their positions. But, after all, we're all a bunch of whores anyway.