Monday, March 06, 2006


Hollow Giants, Gaslighting, And The Right Wing

I've known for a while that the US branch of The Empire Rupert Murdoch Built is on shaky ground. They can't charge top-flight ad prices even when they get good ratings because their reputation is so bad, both as a "news purveyor" and as a company known for (rare exceptions like The Simpsons set aside) trashy and/or unfunny programming. And FOX News, which once ruled the cable-news ratings roost, is now dropping precipitously even as the liberal Keith Olbermann boosts MSNBC's ratings largely by beating up on FOX in general and O'Reilly in particular. Meanwhile, it's well-known that the bloom is off the ratings rose for the hate-radio market. Just as it is for the blogs. Using the TTLB rankings, DailyKos alone is the single biggest political blog on the web, nearly five times the size of the closest conservative blog, InstaPundit (which, since it doesn't allow comments, isn't really a blog). Now we have word that another right-wing juggernaut idol, Wal-Mart, is not all it's cracked up to be financially. Target and Costco are both kicking its butt, and Target's now taking on Wal-Mart in the one bright spot of Wal-Mart's financials: Grocery sales. (And let me tell you, folks: Having shopped at several SuperTargets with grocery sections, they are going to put Wal-Mart out of business in five years or less. At the very least, Wal-Mart's efforts to expand into urban America are going to be turned back.) Oh, and thanks to Kos for pointing this out: Bush is at 37% in Indiana. (Yes, Indiana. Republican Central.) In fact, a new Elon University Poll shows support for Bush at only 43 percent in Southeastern states:

A new Elon University Poll shows support for President George W. Bush stands at 43 percent in five Southeastern states, while 52 percent of citizens disapprove or strongly disapprove of the job Bush is doing… The poll compared party support between the last presidential election and the upcoming congressional election. Forty-two percent of respondents supported Democrats in the 2004 presidential election, while 46 percent supported Republicans. When asked which party they will support in the next congressional election, 33 percent said they will support Democrats and 28 percent said they will support Republicans. Twenty-nine percent said they did not know.
And it's not just Bush they're pissed at, but the entire Republican Party:
“What jumps out at you here is the difference in drop-off for Democrats and Republicans,” Bacot said. “The Republican drop-off is twice that of the Democrats, suggesting that Bush’s problems may be trickling down to Republican members of Congress.”…
The combined effects of Iraq, Terri Schiavo, various scandals and screwups (Social Security and Katrina come to mind) that are still in the public mind despite the GOP/Media Complex's best obfuscating efforts, are opening people's eyes -- and in more ways than one. Gaslighting is the Republicans' and conservatives' stock in trade. But they seem to have forgotten that even in the movie, the gaslighting didn't work in the end. Ingrid Bergman came to her senses in time. Let's hope that America has come to its senses in time -- for America and for the rest of the world. [UPDATE: And now we can add the Washington Times to the list of suddenly-endangered conservative Gaslighters. I wonder, are Father Moon's cash-flow issues causing him to have second thoughts about losing over $100 million a year?]


Coming to our senses as Americans invokes an image of the helmsman on the Exxon Valdez when he suddenly notices the aids to navigation flashing on the reef ahead, and the helpless feeling of knowing that the momentum and steerage capability of the monstrous vessel he's on guarantee imminent disaster.
Yes, yes, it would appear the ship is sinking. But alas, how will it all be portrayed in the mainstream media? At the end of the day, they still wield the most power to influence the public debate.
MediaBloodHound: But how much longer will the media as we know it continue to exist?
PW: I think the media is dissolving before our eyes. How many people believe what they read or hear from corporate media?

I think it's a terrible situation. This is the sort of anarchy from which demagogues arise and nations turn from madness to suicide.

But maybe God will be kind, and the last 34% will see Our Dear Leader and the mess that the Republicans have created in its full truth.
And the helmsman of the Exxon America is starting to notice that the captain is drunk off his ass and has been for the whole voyage.

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