Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Obama Network?

Talking to a friend the other day, she claimed that MSNBC was the "Obama network." I asked her, "Why do you think that?" She said, "Because every time Obama has even the smallest victory, they have a huge write-up about it." I thought about this. "Are you suggesting Obama owns a piece of MSNBC?"

In the age of Fox News, Americans have become jaded into believing that all networks have a certain bias because they're owned by billionaires who insist that news have a certain bias. Conservatives often feel threatened when their point of view isn't the norm. Therefore, arch-Conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch, feeling threatened by what he perceives as left-leaning Ted Turner's CNN, creates Fox News to produce news that's not more objective, but more right-leaning. It's disappointing how Murdoch chooses to engage in network combat, going on the offensive against all perceived enemies of the right, instead of attempting to win over viewers with a more objective news.

But what's more disappointing is how the ratings for Fox News soared. Murdoch is, of course, all about making money, and he knew that the majority of people are not guided by their better angels. Many Americans are drawn to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Anne Coulter not because they present objective truth, but because people are drawn to sensationalistic hate. So don't blame Murdoch, blame American consumers.

Many Democrats believe that, to be a good Democrat means to be anti-corporation. But corporations don't acquire power in a vacuum. Corporations gain power through consumers. The right often make the joke about the environmentalists who attend a rally to protest drilling for oil in Alaska...but how did they get to the rally? By filling the tank of their Volkswagen van. Anti-corporation Democrats should recognize the truth in that joke.

Anti-corporation Democrats also need to recognize the truth that not all corporations are inherently bad. If a multinational corporation produces renewable energy, and it's proven that the corporation's portfolio consists totally of non-polluting clean energy, should we treat this corporation with the same animosity as the corporation that deals exclusively in burning fossil fuels?

It's better to be precise about what you rage against.

So as for MSNBC being the Obama network? It's not because Obama owns a piece of MSNBC. It's not because MSNBC loves Obama more than Hillary. It's more likely because there are more Obama fans in the American viewership than Hillary fans. Though many Americans are drawn towards hate, many more are drawn towards hope. Recognize that truth.

The Hillary camp has been loudly complaining about the Obama camp "spending so much money" in their campaign. Well, in order to spend that much, Obama first had to make that much in donations. So basically, the Hillary camp is trying to put a negative spin on Obama's impressive fundraising ability. And it's been proven again and again that most of Obama's money comes from under $200 donations from Average Joe Americans.