Sunday, September 30, 2007
Foreground & Background
Everyone—left, right, and center—are once again fixating on the Clintons. I can’t say I blame them entirely since Hillary blitz-krieged the Sunday morning shows last week and Billy did a lap dance or two today with George Stephanopoulos and Tim Russert. From last Sunday to this Sunday, it’s been a mainstream media, Clinton bookend bonanza. Extra, extra: Will Barack slam Hillary? Will Hillary slam Barack? Can Johnny be as tough as his wife on Hill? Will GQ remain emasculated or grow a pair to run that piece on Billary? NO WAY!: Rudy “call me” Giuliani will predicate his campaign on the ASSumption that he can beat Hillary? Wow, there’s a shocker.
Even in today’s New York Times, both Frank Rich, whose columns I savor, and mean girl Maureen Dowd, whose columns, as of late, tend to make me and several people I know sick, focus on none other than Hillary. It’s not that I mind the criticisms of the Clintons, or of Hillary, in particular. Quite frankly, many of them are fair and accurate—and not in a Fox fiction sort of way. It just amazes me how much the Clinton narrative, to borrow the rhetoric of Frank Rich, dominates the mainstream media foreground and all other narratives are assigned to the background, or better yet, to the media hinterland. Even Ahmadinejad’s crazy cameo—and even crazier claim of no gays in Iran—at Columbia had a short shelf life in the big, mainstream media scheme of things.
Meanwhile, in the media background more of our soldiers continue to die in Iraq and it seems that NO ONE—Democrat or Republican—has a lucid plan to get us the f**k out. Who knows what the deal is with the possibility of going to war with Iran? There continues to be “no-shows” of Republican candidates at minority-sponsored debates, although this IS the party of the BIG TENT—only if you’re white. Children in need might NOT get appropriate insurance because George W. Bush says that there’s a better way; remember: he’s the dude that insisted there WERE weapons of mass destruction. And who the heck knows what Condi’s up to; maybe she’s having more surgery finally to close that gap between her front teeth.
The bigger gap that concerns me is the enormous difference between the media foreground and background, between the OJ resurgence and the Iraq insurgence, between what’s over-emphasized and what barely registers as a blip, between the over-saturation of fake news and the drowning of real news…that should be “fit” to print.