As has been the case with the last several national election campaigns, it seems that there is much more noise than there is substance.
Each week, some new immaterial element takes center stage as the media attempts to make the biennial election stampede into an audience-grabbing reality show.
Most of it is nonsense, having little to do with the important issues that make the 2012 election the most critical one in modern U.S. history.
But nonsense is what sells soap and selling soap is what keeps the networks in business. The two major political parties know this and use that fact to steer our opinions toward or away from selected candidates.
Unfortunately, neither party is above throwing out the red meat on which the media love to chew; anything to avoid talking about the tough issues.
Every little misstep by a candidate is blown out of proportion by the media and any substantive discussion of the issues immediately falls victim to what TV news producers believe is “good theater."
Rather than a comprehensive discussion of immigration policy, we get to hear about Rick Perry’s forgetting the name of one of the federal agencies he wants to abolish.
Instead of comparing the candidates’ plans for reforming our tax code, the media focuses on Herman Cain’s alleged dalliances, with women whose veracity is highly doubtful.
When they should be asking questions about repealing ObamaCare, reporters are questioning Michelle Bachman’s erroneous statement about the HPV vaccine.
Mitt Romney’s flip-flops on health care and abortion keep coming up in the news, but his 59-point plan is rarely mentioned.
Even Newt Gingrich’s ill-advised TV spot with Nancy Pelosi seems to be taking precedence in the media over his ideas on energy policy.
Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul generally have been ignored even though they too have some valid ideas. But then, they haven’t yet reached high enough in the polls to warrant such media scrutiny.
It makes one wonder if the media will start questioning Obama’s birth certificate in the near future. Given recent dismal projections for the economy and jobs, that actually may be a distraction the president would welcome. And given the left-leaning media’s proclivities, it may be one that they will purposely advance for his benefit.
Let’s hope not. Let’s hope that when the president is re-vetted, it will be on the basis of his record on the real issues and not on arcane conspiracy theories.
Regardless of what the media decides to report, it is up to us, the voters, to put on our noise-canceling headphones and cut to the real issues: jobs, the economy, spending, tax reform, border security and immigration, burdensome regulations, foreign policy, realistic medical cost containment and overreaching government.
Regardless of your chosen party or political leanings, seek out accurate information and details about the candidates that haven’t been subjected to the filter of media bias.
Read the actual plans of the candidates. They’re all available on the Internet; just Google the candidate’s name.
Read their biographies and their speeches. If they’ve previously served in elective office, look at their voting records.
Then read what the liberal press says about them and then what the conservative press says. The truth may be somewhere in between.
Blot out the intentional distractions of the news media. It may be good theater to some, but in the context of the primary and general elections, which will decide the future direction and the ultimate fate of our nation, it’s not news, just noise.