Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Day of Reckoning

Republicans beware, your day is coming. Just like Clinton’s second term scandals, the media is ready to pounce, only this time with the Democrats on board. You know what they say, what goes around comes around. Also similar to the Clinton scandals, some conservatives are blindly supporting the Bush Administration, denying any wrongdoing, and even blaming their problems on the other party. Hmmm, sounds familiar doesn’t it? Don’t conservatives believe in personal responsibility anymore? Or is that just when the other party is in power? Clinton has since admitted his personal transgressions, but I somehow doubt Rove, Libby, and Co. is going to do the same at any point in the future. I guess absolute power corrupts absolutely after all.

We will see as we rapidly approach the 2006 mid-term elections, which party will gain seats in Congress. I am not sure whether there will be enough of a shift to throw either house back to the Democrats, because they simply lack a positive message. All they can do is sit back and capitalize on the mistakes of the president. The Republican strategy that worked so well in 1994 when they seized control of both houses of congress was to capitalize on the corruption of the Democrats who were in power, but they also used other tactics including gerrymandering and campaign finance loopholes to take an advantage in the voting booths. A new paradigm is needed to break this cycle of corruption in the majority party.

One positive step towards this new paradigm would be to reform the media. This perception of a “liberal bias” in the news media should be eliminated because it undermines legitimate debate over ideological and divisive issues. Right-wing conservatives seeking to mislead its base from striving for the facts on their own use the liberal bias as a wedge issue to divert attention from media ownership and who really controls the media. The conservative base has become so anti-intellectual they are unable or unwilling to think for themselves, relying on daily “talking points” consistently broadcasted across the talk radio programs and the Fox News Channel. They label those who work in the media, especially journalists, as being elitists because of their fancy education and the big words they like to use. They like to spin conspiracy theories about the media that fits their view of a “liberal bias.” What has made this tactic so successful is because the simple truth is the more educated you are, the more liberal you are likely to be. What is easily lost in this argument is the fact that the owners of the media conglomerates are overwhelmingly conservative. If you don’t believe me, look up the CEO for each of the five major media conglomerates, and which party they are registered to vote for and which party they give the most money too. The argument should be over how much control ownership has over the content journalists present in the media. There is a give and take, with the best seller getting the most air time because the media is a profit generating business. Ironically, it was the Democrat President Clinton, along with a Republican controlled Congress, who set the ball rolling for the massive media consolidation we have seen over the last decade.

Harriet Miers may be rejected, Rove, Libby, and Delay may be all indicted, and Bush may have one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history, but the conservatives will still have the infamous Bible belt, the red states, and the heartland in their back pocket. They can still use the Christian Coalition as a political tool to con good, but ignorant people into believing that liberals stand for moral decay and corruption. They can do this by the power of the “liberal” media. Taking advantage of our extremely short attention spans, the conservative base effectively spins their own problems onto the liberals and the media. When things go wrong when they are in power, so many are too eager to believe it is the media’s fault, because they are all a bunch of liberals trying to make good conservatives look bad. Remember what the media did to President Clinton. How could one possibly believe that the media has a liberal bias after watching the Clinton-Lewinsky affair on 24-hour news networks, including the Fox News Channel, and conservative talk radio? The media has a corporate bias, because a sex scandal increases ratings and profits, that is indisputable, and a lot of those watching are social conservatives. Even the “silent majority” have to accept the reality of the profit-driven media becoming increasingly sleazier as fewer and fewer choices are presented. The conservative base must admit to itself that the fiscal conservatives, the ultra-capitalists, are not on the same side of “morality” in the media. Social conservatives cannot, with a clear conscience, continue to support fiscal conservative control over the media’s future. Vice versa, pure capitalism advocates cannot allow social conservatives to hinder the profit margins of media corporations through social regulation and FCC censorship. A day of reckoning, in more ways than one, is inevitable for the great conservative movement.

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