Adam McKay first published in the Huffington Post, September 8th 2008
top saying that!” my wife says to me. But this is not a high school football game and Im not a cheerleader with a bad attitude. This is an election and as things stand now, were gonna frickin lose this thing. Obama and McCain at best are even in the polls nationally and in a recent Gallup poll McCain is ahead by four points.
Something is not right. We have a terrific candidate and a terrific VP candidate. Were coming off the worst eight years in our countrys history. Six of those eight years the Congress, White House and even the Supreme Court were controlled by the Republicans and the last two years the Rs have filibustered like tantrum throwing 4-year-olds, yet were going to elect a Republican who voted with that leadership 90% of the time and a former sportscaster who wants to teach Adam and Eve as science? Thats not odd as a difference of opinion, thats logically and mathematically queer.
It reminds me of playing blackjack (a losers game). You make all the right moves, play the right hands but basically the House always wins. I know what youre going to say “ But I won twelve hundred dollars last year in Atlantic City!” Of course there are victories. The odds arent tilted crazy, but there is a 51%49% advantage. And in the long run, the house has to win. The house will win.
So what is this house advantage the Republicans have? Its the press. There is no more fourth estate. Wait, hold on Im not going down some esoteric path with theories on the deregulation of the media and corporate bias and CNN versus Fox I mean it: there is no more functioning press in this country. And without a real press the corporate and religious Republicans can lie all they want and get away with it. And thats the 51% advantage.
Think this is some opinion being wryly posited to titillate other bloggers and inspire dialogue with Tucker Carlson or Gore Vidal? Fuck that. Four corporations own all the TV channels. All of them. If they dont get ratings they get canceled or fired. All news is about sex, blame and anger, and fear. Exposing lies about amounts of money taken from lobbyists and votes cast for the agenda of the last eight years does not rate. The end.
So one side can lie and get away with it. Now lets throw in one more advantage. Voter caging and other corruption on the local level with voting. Check out the article here on HuffPost about Ohio messing with 600K voters. If only five thousand of those voters dont or cant vote thats a huge advantage in a contest that could be decided by literally dozens of votes. That takes us to about a 52 to 48% advantage.
Im not even getting into the fact that the religious right teaches closed mindedness so its almost impossible to gain new voters from their pool because people who disagree with them are agents of the devil. I just want to look at two inarguable realities: A) we have no more press and B) the Repubs are screwing with the voters on the local level.
Im telling you, were going to lose this thing. And afterwards well blame ourselves the same way we did with Gore and Kerry (two candidates a thousand times more qualified to lead than W Bush.) Just watch. McCain wins by a point or two and we all walk around saying things like “Obama was too well spoken.” “Biden wasnt lovable enough.” “I shouldnt have split those eights.” “Why did I hit on 16? Why?!”
So what do we do?
- We give definitive clear speeches like Biden and Obama gave the other day about how no one talked about any issues at the Republican Convention and how they outright lied. But we do them over and over again.
- We use the one place where its still a 50/50 gamethe Internetas much as we can.
- But most importantly we should bring up re-regulating the media and who owns it and what that conflict of interest is a lot more. By pretending theres no conflict of interest were failing to alert the public that theyre being lied to or given a looking at a coin at the bottom of a pool slanted truth. Every time a pundit or elected official is on any TV news program it should be a polite formality to mention that GE has made such and such billions off the war in Iraq by selling arms or that Murdoch is a right-wing activist with a clear stake in who wins and who taxes his profits the least. Disney, GE, Viacom, and Murdochall want profits and the candidate and agenda that will get in their way the least.
Obama and Biden should also create a “master sound bite sentence” and repeat it hundreds of times. It should be so true that even the corporations cant screw with it when it makes the airwaves. Heres my attempt: “Katrina, four dollar gas, a trillion dollar war, rising unemployment, deregulated housing market, global warming no more.”
This race should be about whether the Republican Party is going to be dismantled or not after the borderline treason of the past eight years. But instead it is about making the word “community organizer” a dirty word and a beauty queen who shoots foxes from a plane. Someone is not in any way doing their job and its the press. Or more specifically, that job no longer exists.
Probably the worst offenders are the pundits who take the position that its all just a game and say phrases like “getting a post-convention bump” or “playing to the soccer Moms.” This isnt a game of Monopoly or Survivor. There are real truths that exist outside of the spin they are given and have an effect on lives. 250,000 Iraqi civilians are dead because we let our reality be distorted by the most effective propaganda machine in fifty years, the corporate American press. Money and jobs are flying out of this country as our currency becomes worthless and were talking about the fact that McCain is a veteran. If someone busted into your house and robbed you would you then forgive them if you found out they were a veteran? Of course not. So why are we forgiving McCain for selling out his country by supporting the Bush agenda?
This is it folks. If McCain takes power we fade and become Australia in the seventies: a backwoods country with occasional flashes of relevance. Except weve got a way bigger military and were angrier. People will get hurt and well pay the bill for the bullets. Im telling you, unless we wake up, were gonna lose this frickin thing.