Tuesday, April 15, 2008


A single soundbyte… a well chosen snapshot… context or no, it’s amazing how a presidential candidate’s entire fate can rest on something as fleeting as a few passionate words and images. It’s like their entire prior record is erased by the utterance of a sentence. Amazing. Are voters that transient? That flighty?

I really believe that the media presumes itself the final ‘decider’ in these matters. The stuff they catch, the reports they run; even the pictures they choose to run with them. I’m not a fan of any of the candidates, but even I felt sorry for the article Slate ran about Obama’s gaff; and the picture they coupled with it.

Look at these pictures and then put them with the headline below; see how it changes almost the entire context:

Better Explanations for
White Working-Class Bitterness

Better Explanations for
White Working-Class Bitterness

How do these make you feel about the candidate after reading the headlines and coupling it with the picture? And how does the paper presume to set the ‘mood’ of the article by influencing the reader with what is a clear attempt to vilify the subject, in a very subtle way?

Same with Billary. If the media wants to push a negative image, they use a picture like this one, which I've seen on a lot of righty sites and shows:

If they want to push a more positive story (rarely), they use one like this one.

It’s sad how malleable we all are. It's scary actually that American voters will pick and choose their leader based on what is no more than media branding. So few people will actually look any deeper into the candidate's accomplishments or background. They allow the media to tell them who they are.

I'm a libertarian left. I took the 'who's your candidate' test some months ago, and the closest one (at about 56%) was Kucinich. The next closest was Billary. I don't like any of them. McCain is just a Bush clone. Oh, what to do, what to do?

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