Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ship of fools

According to Mark Thoma, the Republican party is opposing finance system reform by positioning themselves as against the big banks. Similarly, "During the debate over health care reform, Republicans convinced a lot of people that they are the defenders of Medicare in their effort to stop reform altogether. The media did not seriously challenge this ridiculous claim, and now Republicans think they can keep playing the public (and the media) for fools."

The Republicans are correct, but Thoma is only half right. The Republicans are not playing the media for fools; the Republicans and the media are playing the public for the fools they actually are.

It is not in the interests of the capitalist owners of the media to tell the truth. The media are not being "fooled" by the Republicans; It's not in their interest to know or care what the truth even is (other than precisely and thoroughly knowing the truth about what will sell advertising.) The media's job — from the advertisers to the entertainment producers to the news room — is to bring viewers to advertisers. Period. If lies and phony controversies will do the job — and they do — that's what will get on the air.