[ExI] elections again; was [Time Magazine: Person of the Year: Putin(!), my voteinstead:Anna Politkovskaja]

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Dec 28 20:24:16 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of spike
> MB you are actually describing a feature of the mainstream news media
> rather than strictly the election system.  The minor candidates do not get
the ink. But with electronic communications and the resulting decline of the
> importance and credibility of the mainstream press, the previously
> sidelined candidates can now have their day... spike

After I wrote this, I realized it was an understatement.  The mainstream
press can simply ignore a candidate of course, but they have more influence
than that, as was demonstrated by the way the mainstream press de-elected
the scream guy, Dean somebody, back in 2000.  (What was his name?  James?
No, that was the sports car crashing actor.  Jimmy?  No, he is the country
singing sausage guy.  Dizzy?  No he was a baseball player.)

In any case, Dean somebody was being treated pretty well until after a pep
rally of his own people, his volunteers and supporters, in which he bellowed
a (quite legitimate under the circumstances) heeyaargh.  He was reported to
have shrieked this into a microphone, but if one views the video, he
specifically stepped away from the podium before he actually heeyaarghed.
However he had a radio mic clipped to his lapel, which turned it into the
ear-splitting heeyaarghing of an apparent madman.  It wasn't!  It was a
perfectly understandable mistake; any one of us could have found ourselves
being similarly labeled an insane heeyaargher.

The mainstream press immediately turned on him, and ruined the man by
playing the pep rally heeyaarghage incessantly.  I am not defending Dean or
heeyaarghism, but the actions of the press helped me recognize that their
influence on the election process is illegitimate and harmful to the
credibility of the process.

The bigger immediate issue is mainstream press reporting on elections while
the polls are still open.  Earlier I commented in the ten point goal

> 9. Prevent news agencies from influencing the outcome of an election by
the act of reporting the outcome before the polls close.

Is anyone here ready to argue that the mainstream press does not influence
the outcome of elections or that it does but such influence is proper?  If
so, do state your case clearly and carefully, and be prepared for an
enthusiastic rebuttal.



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