Sunday, April 29, 2012

Biggest con

by Ted Rudow III, MA ( Tedr77 [at] )

Sunday Apr 29th, 2012 6:22 PM

It is the biggest con game going. And the stakes are enormous. And the effort to regulate them is hopeless, because the very people who are in charge of regulating them are the same people who are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the lobbies that run them.

The connection between the legislators and the lobbyists is so intimate that it's not even embarrassing for a senator to say that in front of a room.

The culture is so hermetically sealed from the rest of the country that it doesn't occur to them that there is something deeply outrageous and offensive and corrosive of democracy to admit that the money side of politics and the elected side of politics belong to each other. The other day, the president of CBS, Les Moonves, was reported by "Bloomberg" to have said "Super PACs may be bad for America, but they're … good for CBS." This is a windfall every election season, which seems not to even stop ever, for the broadcast industry. So not only are they raking it in, they're also creating a toxic environment for civic discourse.

So one of the big reasons that things are at the pass they are is that the founders never could have anticipated that a small group of people, a financial enterprise and the technology could create this environment in which facts, truth, accountability, that stuff just isn't entertaining. Instead, the purpose of these debates is in order to have commercials. The suspense and coming back, those are devices deployed, in order to have people watch what happens in between. These are moneymaking propositions. They give bragging rights for those that get high ratings. They have nothing to do with the content.

So because it's not entertaining, because the stations think it's ratings poison, they don't cover it on the news.

Ted Rudow III, MA

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