Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Drowned out

If a sitting president can’t make himself heard, how can anyone else?

A number of commenters on this page* echoed its author’s bewilderment at the apparent ineptitude of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party to take credit for helpful economic measures or to put the blame for the deficit where it belonged prior to the 2010 midterm elections. But ineptitude had nothing to do with it.

Corporate media brainwash Americans

A well-adjusted citizen diligently cares for his mental hygiene.
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Forget the myth about “liberal media”: I have worked in them, and they are anything but — although they are adroit in making themselves appear objective to those who don’t closely and vigilantly examine the messages they release. In sum, however: The media almost all (and increasingly) belong to a handful of conglomerates headed by wealthy executives, and, because their revenue comes mostly from advertising, they are extremely sensitive to the opinions of those who run the companies that advertise with them. (The publisher of a newspaper I once edited was forthright about this: “The advertisers,” she said, “call the shots.”)

Since right-wing ideology is “business-friendly,” with an emphasis on deregulation and tax cuts, it is in their short-term interest to support right-wing candidates.

And this is not to mention the vanity factor: Since executives, like anyone else, prefer praise to rebuke, it is also logical that they will favor a faction that lauds them over one that lambastes them.

Add in all the astroturf groups and their faux-independent websites, and you have what many have come to call the right-wing noise machine. This cabal has a near-monopoly on the “news” Americans watch and is fast infiltrating the internet. Against all of this, it’s impossible for even a sitting president to make himself heard, so we witness the unedifying spectacle of victims of an economic mugging being led to believe the muggers are really their protectors.

That is why the Democrats got the blame for deficits rather than credit for measures that strengthened the economy, allowing the Republicans to retake the House of Representatives with the most right-wing incoming class in many years.

*Originally published as a review of a New York Times blog entry on Barack Obama’s failure to get credit for his work.

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