Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sixteen Seconds is a Pretty Long Orgasm

Now it starts to get weird. As the great political philosopher and journalist, Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Well, as a reluctant consumer with limited funds, I’ve strapped myself into this contraption, clutching the ticket as I hang on for dear life praying I don’t puke before we come to a halt. What has me taking deep breaths and swallowing repeatedly trying to keep the bile as far down as possible? Why it’s the newly fabricated race war between Hillary and Barack.

After watching hours of this back and forth on all the networks, blogs and newswires over the last couple of days I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing of any real merit is ever going to come out of either campaign until the media stops its rabid, blood thirst for conflict where there isn’t any. Instead of reporting relevant news they’re on a diatribe of mindless race babble that culminated in what can only be described as an exercise in absurdity.

Last night the local NBC affiliate in my home state actually counted the seconds of applause that Hillary got after a speech she gave at a MLK celebration in New York. Sixteen seconds of luke warm applause. That’s right. Sixteen. I couldn’t believe my ears. Some moron actually felt the need to count the seconds. Now I challenge you – stand up and clap for sixteen seconds straight. No stopping. Seems like a pretty generous amount of time to me. I don’t think I applauded that long for Springsteen.

But the press headlines to the event were even more telling. And you thought the network media, the Big Three, were above the spin, immune to the hype. I’m not talking Fox news here.

MSNBC headline: Clinton Honors MLK at Labor Event (okay, pretty boring but accurate)

ABC headline: Clinton Faces Boos and Catcalls at MLK Event (boos and catcalls – wow, that’s a contrast from honoring MLK at a labor event)

WCBS out of NY: Clinton Gets Respectful Applause at MLK Event (okay, so what’s so respectful about boos and catcalls?)

Canada.com: Hillary Does Damage Control at King Birthday Dinner (Damage control? Canada? What the fuck do they have to do with this?)

This is the press’ racial equivalent of a wet dream.

Now sides are clearly taken. Bob Johnson, president of Black Entertainment Television (and Clinton supporter) makes a very off-color (pun intended) remark about Obama’s past in the streets of Chicago. The veiled implication that while Hillary was single-handedly saving the women’s movement and getting blacks the vote, Obama was snorting coke and smoking weed. Now, did he actually say that? No, of course not. That would be political suicide, right? He implied it, rather bluntly. Then there’s the Oprah factor, whatever the Hell that is. It’s getting tedious.

For the first time in American history we’ll get the chance to not vote for a middle aged, wealthy white man. So why is the press blowing it harder than a Louis Armstrong trumpet solo? Get with it for Christ’s sake. This is the most important election since 2004.

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