Can we trust the mass media on the Republican primary coverage?

After Iowa, despite only “winning” by 8 votes, Mitt Romney was declared the champ. Then, in New Hampshire, a state that had more reporters in it than voters for the primary there, Romney’s unconvincing win had somehow “catapulted him into the frontrunner’s position” according to the media. The media predicted Romney to wrap it up in South Carolina- and never mentioned Newt Gingrich as a contender, instead we heard Santorum was better positioned. Then, it turns out Santorum actually won Iowa- almost a week after it had been “reported” that he came in second. Perry and Huntsman dropped out- not because they didn’t think the voters should be able to vote for them, but because they weren’t able to raise the money to keep in the limelight. Three states that are  inconsequential in the final election vote and the rest of the country is decided?

Last night Gingrich won South Carolina with 40% of the vote, we’ve been told. The first thing he did was tweet asking for more money in the form of a “moneybomb.”

@newtgingrich Newt Gingrich

Thank you South Carolina! Help me deliver the knockout punch in Florida. Join our Moneybomb and donate now.

via Twitter / @newtgingrich: Thank you South Carolina! ….

From my campaign piece (which will be posted later in it’s entirety:

Why you can’t trust the media

We were all taught about the three branches of government: legislative, judicial and executive. The so called “fourth estate” (the media) was supposed to be the watchdog.
Betcha Ben Franklin never envisioned making billions from his fellow founding fathers in their quest for political office. The media’s main job these days is making sure the politicians and their “SuperPACs” keep spending billions on advertising.
We don’t hold elections, we host auctions and big media takes their cut on every one.
There is nothing “fair and balanced” about any of it.
I’m in advertising and what our politicians do shouldn’t be dignified by being called advertising.
Advertising enhances a product, what they do tears it down.
If you or I produced ads with the same exaggerated claims and false promises and then failed to deliver, we’d be in jail.*
The real question is if political “advertising” helps anyone make better choices on who to vote for?
I bet you say no.

*Parts of this post are paraphrased from a 1994 ad in the New York Times “Don’t call it advertising”
paid for by Ketchum Communications and written by Jerry Della Femina.

I still have a yellowed copy of that ad. A quick search of the Internet didn’t turn it up, but did find a few posts about it including this one from Ad Age- about the sleaziness of the 1994 ad season. (I’ll have to shoot a picture of the ad and post it later, [DONE] it hung on the wall over my desk for years). Since then, we’ve seen not only the sleaze factor rise, we’ve seen “Swiftboating,” the “Citizens United” ruling that says corporations are people and the cost go from $1 billion to a predicted $6 billion (I believe it will be more like $10B at this rate).

In case you haven’t been following the media industry- it’s in trouble. Ad revenues across the board on “broadcast media” have been down. The print industry has been decimated, especially newspapers that are struggling to find their place in a digital, highly targeted world. The only bright spot in the traditional media world for revenues is the growth of the political market. Those billions of SuperPAC money spent on smear and muck are putting the media giants back in the black- and they know it.

For those in America still trying to sell an honest product using mainstream media, this political circus becomes an orange barrel obstruction in their quest to reach American consumers. If you wanted to run television advertising in South Carolina for legitimate business over the last month, you would have been hard pressed to buy media- and would have been looking at paying a premium thanks to the political shysters plying their craft of whatever it is they call it- just “don’t call it advertising.”

If all these commercials went away tomorrow, replaced instead with real debates, a single voter’s guide with equal space for all candidates, unlimited candidate websites where they could say and do whatever they pleased and a complete ban on any money going to politicians for their campaigns- would you miss this theater of the absurd?

Read what Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich proposed with HB 100:

This week, I introduced a Constitutional Amendment which would require that all federal campaigns be financed exclusively by public funds and prohibit expenditures from every other source.

My amendment, H.J. Res. 100, would change the way we finance the elections of our Presidents, Senators and Representatives. It is our chance to return the government to the control of the people.

via Citizens Unite for a Constitutional Amendment | Kucinich.US.

It’s time. You can’t trust the media any more than the politicians. They are all sleeping in the same bed. It’s time to blow up the “moneybomb” model of politics.


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