Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Media Memes Survive

An awful lot of folks in the media are worried that tonight's debate between the Democratic candidates will be boring because it will focus on the issues. Along those lines, it was interesting to read how Amy Chozick at the NYT tried to inject some potential for drama into tonight's event. She suggests that a "highlight" will be for the candidates to calibrate how much to distance themselves from President Obama. The whole idea didn't elicit much drama from the White House though.
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said in a briefing last week that Mr. Obama “understands that it is the responsibility of individual candidates to distinguish themselves.”

“That means distinguishing themselves from their competitors,” Mr. Earnest continued. “And in some cases, that means distinguishing themselves from the current occupant of the office.”
But in reading Chozick outline the possible scenarios for the candidates to distance themselves from Obama, I have to admit that I had to do a bit of a double-take on one of them. Early on in the article, she points to one of Sanders' regular lines about the President.
In a podcast interview with the former Obama strategist David Axelrod, Mr. Sanders implied that the president had been na├»ve to think Republicans would sit down with him. “I think it took the president too long to fully appreciate that,” the Vermont senator said.
Sanders basically critiques President Obama for even attempting to find areas of compromise with Republicans, suggesting that all his efforts were a waste of time.

But then later in the article, Chozick interjects her own ideas about how the candidates might distinguish themselves from the current occupant of the White House.
But if the substance of Mr. Obama’s policies will be indirectly debated on Tuesday, so will his style and the criticism that he has not tried hard enough to work with his political opponents.
Huh? Nowhere does Chozick acknowledge that this would be in direct contradiction to what she just cited as Sander's critique of the President. Does she not even see how this is the polar opposite of what people like Sanders are saying? It is the inability to weigh these different perspectives that allows so many in the media to cling to memes that are completely divorced from reality.

I have to admit that the possibility of a discussion between Sanders and another candidate on whether President Obama was naive to reach out to Republicans or didn't try "hard enough to work with his political opponents" would be fascinating. It has the possibility of exposing just how ridiculous all of that talk has become. But I doubt that is going to happen...and that is how these memes survive.


  1. We just need the CNN debate moderator to give the first questions to Bernie Sanders ...

    "Sen. Sanders, why are you running as an Independent for the Democratic Party nomination?"

    Of course, the glaring contradiction is too much for the liberal crowd to acknowledge while obsessing over Sanders. Can anyone imagine Hillary or Obama running as an Independent in 2008 during the Democratic presidential primaries? They would've been mercilessly mocked for their grotesque arrogance.

    But this standard doesn't apply to Sanders. His liberal followers consider all of his words to be sacrosanct. According to their logic, the guy who identifies himself as an Independent, the guy who didn't lift a finger to pass healthcare reform, wall street reform, credit card reform, the guy who hasn't led to complete any successful climate change legislation ... is somehow presumed to be more "trustworthy" than the guy in the oval office who actually did those things.

    Go figure ...

  2. I find it fascinating how the press thinks that a focus on issues is considered boring...the MSM is used to using sensationalism without substance...i hope that there are citizens tuning in who want that substance...however i think that CNN...will try its best to inject a lil sensationalism into the debate