Anybody with a passing interest in US politics has been able to see for months that John McCain is a broken horse on which a broken party is trying to ride. So this comes as zero surprise: No cliffhanger, more like an Obama landslide.
Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University, Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution, and Larry Sabato, professor of politics at University of Virginia, accused the media of flogging a dead horse in trying to portray the presidential race as a cliffhanger.
It was a particularly bold call for Professor Sabato, who has previously cautioned about Senator Obama's claims that he can redraw the political map in America. "While no election outcome is guaranteed and McCain's prospects could improve over the next 3½ months, virtually all of the evidence that we have reviewed - historical patterns, structural features of this election cycle, and national and state polls conducted over the last several months - point to a comfortable Obama/Democratic Party victory in November," the three men wrote in Sabato's Crystal Ball newsletter.
Yes, yes, fine, so tell us something new. But no, they too are failing to do their job.
"Trumpeting this race as a toss-up, almost certain to produce another nail-biter finish, distorts the evidence and does a disservice to readers and viewers who rely upon such punditry. Again, maybe conditions will change in McCain's favour, and if they do, they should also be accurately described by the media. But current data do not justify calling this election a toss-up."
Good, we get it this far. So the real question, the one that these guys too have failed to ask, remains 'why would an overwhelmingly corporate-owned media with demonstrable active support of the Republican party since the latter days of the Carter administration continue to insist, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, that this race is close?'
What possible motive could they have for a level of cognitive stupidity bordering on delusional?
We can posit some kind of mass hallucination on the part of people in corporate media offices but you have a long stretch to come up with a mechanism, so lets go to Occam's razor.
- If only one channel or business were doing this, you would suggest that it had something to do with a partisan at a very high level in the organisation. If all, or most, of them are doing it, how much of a stretch is it to suggest that there are partisans in every one of the media ownership ranks?
- After all, the people who own and run these organisations are among the American elite and as Bush has remarked, "some call you the elite, I call you my base"
- Since Bush has the sense of humour of a small rock, is it possible that he was speaking the truth?
- If the media ownership is in fact in the hands of Bush's "base", why would they nevertheless, daily, parade a string of lies and incompetence beyond belief?
- What possible circumstance could justify such egregious behaviour?
When the Republicans steal the next election, as they have probably done the last two, the groundwork will have been done. If they continue to peddle the lie that this is close, that it is a toss-up, then when McCain wins they can point to a long history of "evidence" that shows it was close and that the finger of fate only needed to nudge a few people one way or the other to completely change the result.
Tell me I'm wrong, but first, explain the facts in some other way.