Saturday, January 05, 2008

All Hail FOX, ABC and Walt Disney!

The Iowa caucuses are over. Obama and Huckabee are the clear winners in Iowa, but to start yelping that everyone else might as well quit now, as some media commentators are doing, is ridiculous.

What a circus of media hype. Where I live, we haven't gotten any political ads on television yet. So, counting only national news and commentary, only six candidates seemed to receive any substantial "face time" on television, receiving less on radio.

About the only ones we saw or heard about were Obama, Clinton, and Edwards on the Democrat's side and Huckabee, Romney, McCain and Thompson on the Republican's. I listed them in order as I perceived it.

Surprise. Surprise. The candidates seemed to have faired better in direct relation to the amount of exposure they received from the national broadcast media, not counting ads. Of course, I'm not in Iowa, but in the middle of the country in an adjoining state, and I'm only guessing.

However, I do hold an M.A. in Communication, and I know that big media in the U.S. can influence outcomes though purposely selecting images and words, and allocating time amount and slot to favor one candidate over another. I hope the researchers at the
Annenberg Center for the Study of Journalism & Democracy are studying this, and will publish some statistics about the correlation of the amount of broadcast time, not counting ads, to winning candidates.

Fox News (owned by Rupert Murdock) prevented Dennis Kucinich, from participating in the political debate in Des Moines, Iowa, before the caucuses. Yesterday, ABC (owned by Walt Disney) announced that Democratic presidential candidates Kucinich and Mike Gravel, and Republican Duncan Hunter would not be allowed to participate on its prime-time debates tonight in New Hampshire.

The network purposely set benchmarks to narrow the participants in the debates, so much so that Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd immediately bowed out of the race after the Iowa results were announced. Are they gentlemen or quitters?

According to the AP, "Candidates had to meet at least one of three criteria: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys."

Tonight, Republicans Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul will be allowed by ABC to debate. They start at 7 p.m. EST.

Shortly after their debate, which is scheduled to last 90 minutes, the ABC chosen Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Bill Richardson will take the stage for 90 minutes. ABC has chosen.

All hail FOX, ABC, and Walt Disney!

The airwaves belong to the American people. Yet, Americans must now pay a "provider" in order to obtain the programming from those airwaves, and a year from now they must have new, expensive digital receivers or they will be deprived of receiving anything. This is crazy stuff.

Even more important, never before has a network arbitrarily set rules to block Americans from making their views known in a national election. That was something unimaginable when I received a Masters in Communication, exactly 200 years after the establishment of the United States of America.

Kucinich has filed a complaint with the FCC. That won't do any good. The FCC is totally in the pockets of the huge media complex, the growth, or power grabs, of which the FCC is facilitating.

Americans want change. Well, Americans will get change, but it may turn out to be the worst kind of change.

Let's face it Americans, we are already you-know-what. This isn't an election, it's a media-driven circus.

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