Thursday, January 31, 2008


I'm very sad that John Edwards has suspended his campaign, and really mystified at this outcome. No need to write lengthily. The clear question is why, when the last 8 years of de-regulation, no regulation, runaway greed and a tsunami of official corruption have left 95% of us worse off than we were when Clinton left office. It's impossible to weigh how much was the man, the message, the zeitgeist, but it is obvious that the media ignored Edwards relative to the attention they payed to Obama and Clinton. I imagine the coverage was about 8 or 10 to 1. Even before Obama caught up with Clinton, Edwards was essentially cast as an "also ran." And I think the explanation for that is quite clear. Large corporations own our government, which is their feed trough. Of course they don't want Edwards's message to rain down in our ears. Unfortunately, they also own the media.

This calls into question the meaning of the vote today. When the media can outright bar a candidate from even appearing at a national debate, as they did Kucinich, and can lowball other candidates at their discretion, we might well ask what kind of chance the American people actually have today to effect meaningful change. It seems to me that we are trapped within limited alternatives fixed by corporate boardrooms, and that makes me, as a patriotic citizen, perfectly furious.

Closely related is the fact that the same dozen or so people have overwhelming influence on what news we hear and what spin it gets. This includes Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell (wife of the former Fed Chief, Alan Greenspan), Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty, the Faux puppets, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, Keith Olberman (the token liberal), a handful of pretty anchors (male and female), and Bey and Pat Buchanan. Of these, one is progressive and the majority are not moderate but Rightwing. Amazing, isn't it? These same few people control the national agenda and have done so for quite a few years. I so wonder what part of what I'm told is spun, wrong, and trivial by comparison with what I need to know. I mean, I'm pretty sure I don't need to know that a police convoy removed Britney from her home today or that there's new evidence in the most recent dead blonde girl case. I would like to know what executive orders W has signed and what they mean; what really is going on with the market and the dollar and the housing bust; how I would perceive the Clintons if Democrats and progressives had controlled the media over the past 18 years (I'm guessing like Ron and Nancy Reagan are perceived by the Right); the real impact of global warming; the cost of corruption in Iraq and in the Pentagon . . . you know. Stuff like that.

MoveOn wants me to vote now for either Obama or Clinton. I can't. I don't know yet. This isn't an easy choice, and I need more information especially about global warming, regulation, how to address "free" trade and the "free" market, how to ensure that our votes count as voted, and how to ensure the safety and security of this country without pouring our rights and freedoms down the toilet. Oh, and whether the Bush Crime Administration will face justice, ever.