What a spectacle the media coverage is of the primary process. This is the first time I've watched an election unfold with Chomsky's media insights in the back of my mind. It's pretty amazing watching it play out as he describes that it is designed.
One function of the media it so just marginalize people. Get them away from issues so they have no say. So talk about a two headed baby. People who are famous for being famous. Act like athletics is the most important thing in the world. These keep people distracted and marginalized on real issues.
You might think political coverage would have something to do with issues. Does it? I'm at the gym the other day and rather than listen to corporate news, which you can get with your headphones on devices attached to equipment, I'll listen to Democracy Now on an mp3 player. Or maybe listen to an audio book. That way I'm learning something. You don't learn much from corporate news. But I have 10 screens in front of me when I'm on the treadmill and I see one of Ron Paul's spokesmen is coming up on CNN. So I pause my audio book and listen in.
"What do you think of Santorum's surge? Is Ron Paul too old to be President? Ron Paul said that Santorum isn't conservative enough. Wow, what an alarming thing to say!! Can Ron Paul win Iowa? What strategies is he employing to steal a few more votes from one candidate or another?" What is called "politics" has little to do with whatever issues voters might be concerned with and how preferred policies could be implemented. It's about the horse race. Who said what of whom? What about a recent haircut? Has anybody been offended?
Have I learned anything about the candidates here or issues? No. I've wasted my time discussing the horse race. I should have just continued listening to my audio book. In fact the book I'm listening to is by Scott McClellan called "What Happened". It's about his experiences during the Bush years. He objects to the media's constant obsession with the horse race which he says they focus on to the exclusion of issues.
Remember how Michelle Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll a while back and how this was a big deal? Why does that matter at this point? Why was it such a big deal? It's basically a non-issue. Like Kim Kardashian or whoever won the Sugar Bowl. It's useful in that it's a means of preventing people from focusing on things that matter.
It's just plain revolting at this point to watch this charade. We'll get a couple of candidates, both of whom are approved by the 1% and have no interest in the rest of the country, except to placate them and shut them up while they continue to serve the needs of the super rich. And we'll get media coverage that pretends that the differences between Romney and Obama represent substantial differences.
For more on that topic, here's a good article from Matt Taibbi. For brief commentary on how political coverage in the corporate media is not really political coverage at all, read this from Pink Scare.