Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Media Largely Ignoring Voter Suppression By Republicans

Margaret Sullivan has a timely read this morning about the media dutifully following the agenda of nitwit narcissist Donald "Rump" Trump while largely ignoring a threat to the core of our democracy:
Yes, voter suppression is alive and well in the United States. 
But Americans who rely on the broadcast news networks for their information, and they still number in the millions every night, probably don’t know about it. 
Obsessed with all things Trump — caravan invasion, anyone? — and occupied with breaking news about hurricanes and mass shootings, the networks have almost ignored voter suppression. 
With the consequential midterm elections only a week away, the near silence is deafening. [snip] 
“The network news divisions have not worked out how to cover politics without following the agenda set by President Trump,” he told me by email. “That’s not to say their coverage is pro-Trump, since they will use his agenda to present him in both a positive and negative light. But it does mean that they find it difficult to present politics as being about anything except him.” 
Since Labor Day, Tyndall told me last week, the three broadcast networks (CBS, NBC and ABC) together had done only a handful of stories — fewer than 10, all told — on threats to voting rights.
We shouldn't expect a turnaround in the media's obsession with covering every vile syllable coming out of Rump's lie hole.  As disgraced former CBS chairman Les Moonves once said of the pre- election saturation coverage of Rump, "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." It would be hard to find a network or cable executive who didn't, and probably still doesn't, think that same way about Rump coverage.  Clearly, it's all about the money to these soulless suits.

While vigilance (and legal teams ready to square off against the suppressers) is working to keep the voting process as fair as possible in these reactionary times, expanded public awareness is needed of the efforts by Republicans to deny or discourage Americans from exercising their right to vote. That the media, through its inattention to this assault on a fundamental right, is letting Republicans get away with it is a critical abdication of their presumed role as witnesses and truth- tellers, especially in this watershed election.

As Sullivan goes on to point out, those gauzy feel- good- about- America features the network news programs show are fine,
But the unfettered right to vote is much closer to the heart of the American ideal. 
And, especially now, the growing threats to that right should be considered news of the most urgent order.
One week to go.


donnah said...

I can't even wager a guess as to how many average voters are actually aware of anything right now. Voter suppression, a real and present danger, is not exciting news, not like immigrants raging toward our border to kill us and take over.

My mom is older and not particularly politically active, but my husband and I have made very clear to her that her vote counts and she can’t blow off the midterms. I hope that the average citizen is aware enough to see our democracy being destroyed, whether via demolition of healthcare, or breaking Social Security and Medicare, or even changing the rules for voting. Surely some cause will speak to them, to motivate them to vote now.

I'm exhausted every day by the anger and indignation I feel toward Republicans. They are bold and cruel in their policies and they're going to keep running the country into ruin if we can't stop them, or even slow them down. One more week.

W. Hackwhacker said...

donnah - i'm getting more confident by the day that Nov. 6 will be a reckoning for the Repubs. Not over- confident, just feeling better a little more every day. Voted yesterday and the polling station was doing brisk business, more like a presidential election year than mid- terms. We'll see if higher turnout means Dem victory, but I think the motivators are mostly on our side.

donnah said...

I hope so, Hackie! I think I've lost my ability to be hopeful; my pessimism switch is sprung, but I keep plugging away!

One week, and maybe we can share a virtual toast!