The Mainstream Media & its Aversion to Substance

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    It is a sign of how far the mainstream media has shifted away from the substance of contemporary political debates to the “style” when commentators for The Washington Post bemoan this very phenomenon. That is, a commentator for one of America’s most well known news outlets is essentially saying, “we don’t focus on political substance as much as we should.”

    And indeed, they don’t. After the vice presidential debate, one of the most talked about aspects was “Joe Biden’s smirk” (WTF!?). Yes, his smirk, a smirk that apparently sent chills down the spins of Romney partisans as much as it warmed the hearts of the Democratic Party faithful.

    Perhaps the focus on Mr. Biden’s smirk or Paul Ryan’s constant eye-popping moments wouldn’t be so outrageous if the commentary following the debate focused more on the actual substance of what was said.

    All in all, however, it seemed as though both mainstream and online news outlets were content with exploring the expressions of the different candidates and how these could shape the future of the presidential election.

    Here’s a wakeup call to these news outlets: policy matters! Policy matters so much that the Romney ticket’s aversion to spelling out its own tax-cutting policy specifics should send up a huge red flag for anyone in the country who is thinking about voting. It should also be the topic of discussion among every decent news outlet in America.

    To say you’re going to cut marginal tax rates by 20 percent while significantly reducing our country’s debt is a mighty bold claim. It is even bolder when there is no plan describing how this mighty feat will be accomplished. It should be the responsibility of every news outlet across the country to dig deeper for these answers.

    But for everyone but the Romney partisans, it’s clear how this economic miracle will be pulled off, by further eroding the economic position of America’s middle class, a class of American’s that Romney apparently thinks are largely government subsidized freeloaders.

    Thus, in their aversion to substance, the mainstream news outlets in particular are assisting a presidential candidate who not only holds egregious policy positions, he also holds almost half of America as outside of his sphere of concern.

    Here’s to a brave new world, indeed.

    • glennbear

      “Thus, in their aversion to substance, the mainstream news outlets in particular are assisting a presidential candidate who not only holds egregious policy positions, he also holds almost half of America as outside of his sphere of concern.”

      With the upper echelon of media corporations being members of the Romney/Ryan designated class to receive tax benefits it is not surprising that they subtly assist their election chances.

    • KathyinBlacksburg

      of the constant smirking of Ryan and Mitt Romney.  Mitt looked bleary eyed, but no mention of that.  Mitt sipped of sentences going nowhere, tangled up policy, and performed like an empty-headed buffoon, robotically reciting what was programmed into it.

    • desperately tries to stay in business by appealing to the lowest common denominator (e.g., dumbing things down BIG TIME, sensationalizing everything, always reporting the outlier, desperately trying not to anger the right-wing bullies), and the consumers of said media become increasingly misinformed. How do we stop this vicious cycle? I’m not sure, but am interested in ideas.

    • Jim B

      Since all we have basically is a corporate media there is not going to be anything but smirks or something else on democratic candidates. In my neighborhood it is mostly Romney/Ryan signs and I am thinking have any of these people actually paid any attention to their conflicting statements. I guess not.  

    • richmonder

      I found Paul Ryan’s smarmy smirks to be much more obnoxious than Joe Biden’s smiles and laughs. Ryan looked like he was trying to feign respect but actually held Biden in haughty contempt. His cockiness and arrogance was un-watchable. I had to leave the room to calm down several times.  



    • “Mitt Romney and Bain Capital continue to move good, American jobs overseas for big profits. Watch and share the story of Sensata workers in Freeport, Ill., to see how selling out American workers and moving jobs to China continues to line Romney’s pockets.”

    • Teddy Goodson