Pre-empting debate | Arkansas Blog

Pre-empting debate

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David Carr in New York Times reviews again how reason, logic and, yes, even tame political propaganda, have been subject to successful pre-emptive attacks in the age of cable TV.

For all his modern impulses, President Obama’s press operation seems mired in a high school civics debate version of governance, where points are given for logic and argument.

That is not how the media works, however, in an environment that prizes engagement and conflict. ...

In part, the outrage and hyperbole work because the mainstream media, insecure about their own status in an atomizing world, play into the tyranny of split-screen coverage where almost any claim — no matter how outlandish — becomes one side in “an interesting debate.” When not listening to talking heads, the traditional news outlets go to great efforts to get a microphone on vox populi. If the people, even if it is some unknown number, are hopping mad, we don’t want to be the last to tell you about it.

Were there 1,000 angry people with guns outside the town halls, or just one angry guy we saw 1,000 times? In all the noise and velocity of the coverage, it’s hard to know. But in the minds of many viewers — and TV hosts — the answer doesn’t matter. What matters is “there’s anger out there.”

Somehow that seems to fit with a Facebook posting picked up by an NWA reader, a Facebook friend of Mike Masterson, editorial page director of the Northwest Arkansas edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

One thing that should be on forefront of every American's mind. With a corrupt ACORN organization and related groups funded with our tax dollars firmly in place to oversee census and election process, and Obama holding the trump card of imposing... "Martial Law," the 2010 election could prove dicey in several respects. I'm just sayin' folks. We need to be prepared and ready for that.

Let me just say: That's not interesting. It's outlandish (nuts).

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