Daily Editorial: Media bandwagons
Vail CO, Colorado
Just months ago ” before anybody actually voted ” Americans were said to be champing at the bit for a Rudy vs. Hillary presidential election. Likely Republican nominee John McCain was a has-been, and Democratic contender Barack Obama was too young and idealistic to appeal to voters supposedly obsessed with gravitas and experience.
As it did when it corroborated President Bush’s lies about Saddam’s nukes, the national media bungled its forecast of the 2008 presidential race. It told Americans over and over who they wanted to be president ” Rudy, Hillary, Rudy, Hillary, Rudy, Hillary ” but, it turns out, we can still think for ourselves sometimes. The pundits’ yakking was as one-note as Giuliani’s inability to talk about anything other than Sept. 11.
So are any pundits going to lose their jobs over their misfired predictions?
We, as voters and viewers, should be vigilant ” not for terrorists ” but for the national media’s continued attempts to shape the news before it happens. At the moment, its pundits have dumbed down the Democratic contest into a question of race ” it is exerting the worst kind of peer pressure on Americans by telling us some of our neighbors may not quite be ready to vote for a black man, after all.
A dangerous side-effect of this overheated punditry is that once one network has decided race is the big issue, all the other networks pick up the storyline and run with it.
So, we should watch with great skepticism how the national media try to portray a McCain-Clinton race ” salt-of-the-earth war hero vs. calculating flip-flopper; or a McCain-Obama race ” seasoned leader ready to deal with dangerous foreign regime vs. naive greenhorn who wants to eat hummus with the Iranians.
Or maybe McCain will be the doddering old right-wing nutcase vs. the Democrats’ youthful energy and fresh ideas?
As voters, we’ve been independent and it’s up to use to stay off the bandwagons the national media try to cram us on.
” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board