January 15, 2010

Okay, so, I'm jaded.

Maybe it's just that I've become jaded, but give me a break, I think we've all earned a right to be, having suffered through the last year. The problem is that it has trickled out of my political observations into other areas.

I first became aware of it in 2008 when Joe The Plumber became the object of ridicule and suspicion by the press instead of then candidate Obama's 'spread the wealth' answer to his question. Prior to that I knew there was a clear bias - I was not naïve - but active unapologetic partisan effort during a campaign? The basic rules of the game, including fair play, were gone.

But that's old news. The press is in gotcha mode with Sarah Palin. It's no longer eyebrow raising. Cheer leading Obama? Yawn. Spinning the news? Par for the course. Nobel Prize for President Obama in week 2? Whatever. The Nuclear clock moved back away from midnight for the first time ever because of Obama? I guess they've not heard about Iran.

Where I find myself surprised now is at my own suspicion about other news. Jay Leno is fighting with Conan O'Brien? I bet it's great for the sagging ratings. You don't suppose it was planned do you? I do. There's a big argument on Cake Boss? They DO know the cameras are on. (I still like the show though). A boy mysteriously ends up in an untethered home made balloon and his parents are somehow connected to a reality show? Hmmmm. Search now but ask a lot of questions.

It's sad. Being jaded about politics is fine. The government needs suspicion. But being jaded about other things pretty much sucks. It doesn't mean that I'm less concerned and moved by things like the devastation in Haiti, or even stories about individual hardships. It does mean I might, in the latter case, without a preponderance of evidence eye them with more caution than before. I suppose that's good and bad, given the track record of the press of late. Maybe fact checking has become a thing of the past.

But what I find myself wishing for, is a return to political normalcy - outside of the win/lose continuum. That way my focus can be on factual arguments rather than looking for political machinations and subterfuge.
Given my current way of thinking, I can't see that happening. Oh well, there's always Cake Boss.

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