Monday, August 01, 2011
The Devil's Triangle
There are moments when Peter Daou comes off as a bit too much of an ideologue for my tastes, but a lot of the points he's making this morning on the debt ceiling fight, politics and the media are tough to argue with.
"Think about it: in a nation where Casey Anthony gets unlimited air time, how many Americans really understand the intricacies of the issues facing them? Most Americans can’t tell you where Europe is on a map, how can you expect them to assess the efficacy of Keynesian economics? And that’s not blaming them. Economists can’t even agree on the basics. So what ends up filling the knowledge void is the brashest, loudest, most confident-sounding voices. Voices of supposed authority and alleged principle. Rush Limbaugh, for instance. Or Sarah Palin. Sean Hannity. Ann Coulter. Bill O’Reilly.
Echoing those ‘voices of authority’ are Republican politicians and the right’s online denizens. Conservative pundits and columnists lend it all an air of seriousness. And the media, desperately seeking to appear 'fair,' give an uncritical national platform to those voices. Not to mention Fox News, which pipes a steady stream of propaganda into millions of American homes. The triangle of establishment, media, and Internet comes together and conventional wisdom is created and/or changed. Pollsters then dutifully register that shift in sentiment and the media regurgitate it.
There’s simply nothing comparable on the Democratic side."
In my lifetime at least, the Republicans have always been better at creating conventional wisdom out of whole cloth than the Democrats -- and it's one of the many reasons the Dems come off as perennial losers.