If you read the newspaper, watch the telly or turn the radio dial to something besides talk or the greatest hits of the 70’s, 80’s and today, then you know that Romney’s international trip was a disaster. How do you know that? Well you know it the same way that Soviet citizens knew that their economy was booming and it would only be a matter of time before the oppressed slaves of capitalism threw off their shackles and bowed their arrogant heads to the hammer and sickle. They read it in the paper.
We read things in the paper too. Not very good or interesting things because the media is currently too lazy and cheap to do good or interesting things.
Modern journalism is indistinguishable from public relations. PR people do not investigate or report, they come up with a narrative, break it down into talking points and then sell it down by the docks. Their narrative is “Our company is great and the other company is bad.” When their company does something wrong, then it’s, “Our company really isn’t responsible for this” and “The other company is much worse than we are.”
When it comes to politics all you really hear from the media anymore is the same lazy spin you can find on corporate press releases. Read the press releases from a squabble between two companies, switch out the names of the companies to, “Obama” and “Romney” and imagine that Obama Inc. owns the media. Now you know everything you need to know about politics.
Journalism is out. The modern media is too lazy and cheap to actually work on investigative reporting and when they do take the time, it leads to some ridiculous personal eyewitness account of nothing in particular. Coming up with an actual scandal takes work, but why bother when you can just spin the actual news in the worst possible way and manufacture a gaffe narrative.
Manufacturing gaffes is a lot easier than manufacturing jobs which is why the media has switched from fake optimism about the economy to fake pessimism about Romney’s competence. While it takes a lot of work to open a factory that manufactures shoes or microprocessors, manufacturing a gaffe factory is very easy.
Step 1. Call something that a candidate has done a gaffe.
Step 2. Report on the gaffe claim that your media outlet just made. Do not call it a claim, treat it as a verified fact that everyone has already acknowledged.
Step 3. Turn the gaffe reporting into the major issue by talking about it all the time. Interview experts who are willing to back up your gaffe claim.
Step 4. Fire constant questions at the candidate to force him to acknowledge the gaffe. If he discusses the issue in any way, describe him as apologizing or walking back his previous statements. Print essays that accuse him of being an incompetent flip-flopping wimp. If he refuses to discuss it, accuse him of stonewalling and print essays that accuse him of living in denial because he refuses to admit what “everyone” already knows. Either way you’ve proven that he’s a bad person.
Step 5. Repeat step 1 several times. Then begin reporting on a “Pattern of Gaffes”, a “Pattern of Stonewalling” and a “Pattern of Flip-Flopping.”
We got a preview of the media’s gaffe manufacturing process during Romney’s international trip. There are currently more media stories on Romney’s gaffe then there are on the latest bad news for the economy. The narrative is being set through constant repetition.
“Romney’s foreign trip gaffes” the Washington Post blares, “Romney’s Gaffe Track Ends” ABC News laments, “Mitt Romney in Jerusalem: Another city, another gaffe (or two)?” the Christian Science Monitor speculates. Every outlet repeats the same talking points with a slight twist. The “story” is that Romney makes gaffes.
Once the basic narrative has been set, the media begins its secondary “reporting” in which it treats its manufactured story as a real story and begins embedding it into the real world. This takes the form of analysis pieces on the consequences of the fake story.
“Romney suffers gaffes, but will it hurt his campaign?” asks AFP. “Mideast gaffe could cost Mitt Romney” suggests the New York Daily News.”Romney aide’s gaffe exposes rift” offers Politico.