The Answer to One of Life's Great Mysteries: Why Everything On TV Sucks
For the sake of getting it out of the way, I will sum up my impression of the conventions in one sardonic paragraph:
If a high school pep rally and an infomercial had a baby, than it would probably look like the conventions. Beyond that, file any pundit or blogger that classified either convention as a solid "success" or "failure" under "T", for "transparent and partisan quack." Finally, its clear that we must hunt down all voters who were naive and gullible enough to be swayed by either of the conventions. When found, we should pay those feeble minded $1000 dollars to never vote again. Call me extreme, but I consider those voters to be the greatest threat to our great Republic. Remarkably, that's all I have to say about the conventions.
You see, whenever I analyze TV-age politics, I do this freakish thing called "thinking". Its a habit that worries me, as some experts believe that thinking leads to acne and growing hair on your hands. However, I nevertheless feel compelled to show the world the results of my dirty habit.
First off, I don't trust anything that a politician puts into a sound-bite. I don't care if they are Democrats, Republicans, or from our garden variety pack of third parties. I find all political "messages" and "themes" to be as inspiring and honest as the sales pitch of a door-to-door-$2000 -vacuum cleaner-salesman. Bush claims that he'll win the war on terror. Kerry claims he'll insure every American. Yet, until one of them appoints Merlin the magic wizard as their chief of staff, I'll go ahead and consider their promises to be as solid as wind.
Secondly, I consider the commercial news media's bias to be intellectual, as opposed to political. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it seems to me that Fox and CNN not as concerned with informing the public than they are with selling a product. Even the notorious bias of Fox News is merely a reflection of the beliefs, intelligence, and attention-spans of their audience. I'd bet the farm that if the majority of Fox viewers were liberal intellectuals, than Fox would replace the O'Reilly factor with the O'Chomsky Factor. Note to Nit-Pickers: I think Chomsky would understand the value of keeping the brandname: "O' [Any Last Name] Factor". But I digress...
So, let me give you a quick parable that you can use to enlighten any confused partisan that wastes their breath yelling about bias in the media:
Have you ever gotten hooked on an intelligent, popular, and hilarious TV show only to find out that it was cancelled? You say to yourself, "Those bastards! Everyone was watching it! It was Popular! My faith in television was almost restored! WHY!"?
Well, here is why: (drum roll)
The programming on commercial television is designed to meet two goals:
- Attract the largest possible audience (obviously)
- In particular, attract an audience that is dumb enough to be hypnotized into buying things that are "Seen on TV."
Now, apply that formula to any TV News Show from CBS News, to Rush Limbaugh. You are now among the chosen -- young grasshopper-- who possess the hidden answers the following great mysteries of our time:
"Why does TV suck so much?"
"Why do campaign ads work?"
"Why is everyone on TV an Idiot?"
It's because idiots are the most loyal, predictable, and lucrative audience, stupid.
It's not a conspiracy, and there is no agenda. Rather it's a combination of less exciting concepts like self-interest, proven business formulas, and bottom lines. If you want to change the bias on Fox News, organize a coalition of progressives to watch Fox; make sure to also organize phone drives to buy large amounts of products that fox advertises. However, in my opinion, we progressives can use our resources better.