Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Political Two Cents

This election has really made me think about the media, and the way that political campaigns on all levels-- from local board members to the presidential candidates-- have utilized TV, the internet, print, all of that to shape their campaigns, and how different things would be if campaigns created the media, versus the media creating the campaign, and how if often seems as if the media treats the campaigns as something that doesn't affect them on the personal level, but as some great sweeps event that has lasted for a year and a half.  Maybe I'm campaign-fatigued, not voting for either candidate running from the major parties, and so I am sick of not hearing any other party voices in the major media outlets-- except to poke fun at their futility.  I thought with the impact that third parties have had on recent elections (for better or worse), and the campaign of Ron Paul, I would hear some of these voices outside of my favorite independent media sources.
Anyway.  I heard something on the mid-day news today that made me very upset, and is a great example of the way the media interprets the presidential campaign.  Barack Obama's grandmother is very ill, and he has stopped campaigning to fly to her home in Hawaii to support her.  Now, if the news had reported only this, I would have had no issue, as so many aspects of politicians' lives have become fodder for the media.  However, when this action began to be analyzed for the effect it would have on his campaign, I got mad.  Republicans argued when news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy was released, and the media began to analyze its effect on the McCain/Palin campaign, that this was a family issue, and it should have no bearing on the campaign.  However, Palin has created her political persona around the issue of family politics, and this was a real-life example of the effects of her platform.  This is not true of the illness of Obama's grandmother, and while the media is gleefully reporting that Obama's willingness to support his grandmother will boost him further along in the polls, I am sure that Obama could give a rip about any of it and the way it will effect his campaign as this woman, who in all accounts seems quite remarkable, means the world to him and his family.  Like any person who is ill or in a personal crisis-- red or blue-- deserves only our thoughts and well-wishes for a speedy return to health and NOT to be treated as a campaign stump.  

1 comment:

sarah marie p said...

Gotta hate that "gotcha media." haha. Oh man.

But for reals -- leave Obama's grandma out of this! Grrr. I hope she's doing OK.