Palin phenomenon accelerates downfall of old media
By Christopher Adamo
The 2004 contest between President Bush and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry marked the beginning of the end for the old media monopoly. On the one hand, clumsy media attempts to fabricate a story, complete with phony documents hastily fabricated using modern word-processing software, clearly indicated that CBS bigwig Dan Rather and his minions were stumping for Kerry. Meanwhile, the old media failed miserably in their shameless attempts to shamelessly discredit the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth. That organization's thoroughly documented evidence completely unraveled Kerry's baseless claims of heroism in Vietnam. By so doing, the Swift Vets struck the fatal blow to his inept campaign.
Of course the old media, devoted exclusively to liberal ideology, are wholly incapable of admitting their outrageous slant. Nor can they fathom their current inability to successfully function in the absence of their former almost total domination of information. Not surprisingly, the current crop of nasty and small minded leftists throughout the "news" and entertainment media (and to an ever increasing degree, the two institutions are becoming indistinguishable) are at it again. This time, their target is Alaska Governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
The entire dynamic of the 2008 presidential race changed dramatically, the moment Republican candidate John McCain announced his pick of Palin for vice president. Grassroots Republicans, who at best had previously been lackluster in their support for McCain, were suddenly enthused. And Palin has since become the most notable and influential political figure on the national scene.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has had to completely alter its strategy in order to hold any hope of challenging Palin's spectacular rise in national renown. Formerly, Barack Obama was all about "hope" and "change," a message which resonated with those Americans who were otherwise blind to the realities of his political philosophy, but have understandably grown tired of business as usual inside the Beltway.
No real substance was necessary to support Obama's rhetoric. He simply sounded better than more of the same from Washington. But in the wake of Palin's arrival on the national stage, everything changed. In stark contrast to Obama's vacant oratory, Palin does indeed intend to shake things up in the Federal Government, and has an impressive and inspiring track record to prove it.
So the Obama campaign has had to regularly switch from his vacuous message of "change," to denigrating Palin's supposed "lack of experience," in order to cast her as somehow unfit for the nation's second highest office. Yet this strategy poses its own risks, and requires a great deal of dexterity by Obama, since any real scrutiny of experience among the candidates reveals him to be by far the least qualified among them.
Thus, the liberal political machine is forced, once again, to rely heavily on media complicity in order to pull off this ruse. And of course its minions among the "news" and entertainment industry are fully willing to comply.
For starters, the level of discourse on national "news" programs has seriously degenerated, while members of the "entertainment" industry are becoming ever more vocal with their opinions. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to tell the two entities apart.
Political commentators and their "analyses" sound increasingly like what one might expect from Simon Cowell, with far more focus on style than substance, and on "presentation" rather than policy. But in contrast to the shallow cheesiness of "reality TV," Americans ought not care if, according to media elites, Sarah Palin "looked flustered" during the Charlie Gibson interview. Instead, they should be more concerned with her core principles and resulting policy positions on key issues.
Nevertheless, Sarah Palin's competence and fitness as vice-president is currently deemed lacking by such colossal intellects as Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, and Lindsay Lohan. Sadly, while these talented individuals can capably stand in front of the cameras and deliver lines sounding as intelligent as their script writers intend them to sound, nobody warned them not to attempt such things at home. But to be fair, their diatribe no longer sounds markedly different from the shallow observations offered by the likes of Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson, among other "old media" stalwarts.
So as the incredible level of venom directed at Sarah Palin continually proves to be an ongoing failure, media efforts to obliterate her popularity have only increased in their shrillness. And in so doing, they increasingly highlight their own moral and philosophical bankruptcy. In the midst of such a disgraceful firestorm, Palin's steadfastness is, if anything, underscored in the eyes of the public. Meanwhile the tenor of the media grows progressively more desperate.
Perhaps the most stunning example of this desperation was a September 15 article by Jon Friedman first appearing in "Market Watch," though it has enjoyed wide circulation since. According to Friedman, Palin's skyrocketing popularity of the past few weeks was principally a product of the media attention given her. Upon this sham of an assertion, he goes on to confidently predict that the same media which "made" her will now be the cause of her undoing.
Friedman gives no consideration to the reality that Palin's popularity among America's grassroots derives from her down-to-earth wholesomeness and above all, her unabashed devotion to conservatism and the traditional values of heartland America. In his world, she is simply the result of media attention, as if it was ever positive in its assessment of her. Thus does he maintain, in the vanity of his own imagination (along with the equally empty contemplations of his fellow media minions), that the ebb and flow of America's political landscape is really all about him and his kind.
Mainstream Americans are overwhelmingly angered by the flagrant audacity of such a self-absorbed appraisal, lacking so thoroughly in evidence as it is. Nevertheless, a new wind is blowing across this nation. Friedman, Couric, and Gibson, along with those pretty but empty mouthpieces of the Hollywood left, will continue to offer their venom and drivel to an ever diminishing audience, oblivious to the fact that their sphere of influence is in danger of eventual extinction.
In its place, the force and character of courageous individuals such as Sarah Palin, along with the grassroots network of true conservatives whom she so well represents, will begin the long task of restoring the dynamism, energy, and virtue of America.
Christopher Adamo is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.