Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An interesting question. . .

. . .left mostly unanswered.

Tonight on FoxNews, Brit Hume asked his panel if they thought that the main-stream media outlets that have performed almost criminally bad during this election would ever face repraisials from the public?

In the way that the panel goes, the question was slightly modified as it moved from commentor to commentor, so the only one who got to answer that "simple" question was Fred Barnes, who said what I think is the obvious answer: no.

And I agree with that--EXCEPT for one very possible outcome wherein the large media probably would feel the wrath.

IF an Obama administration ends up doing some of the really odd things that they've talked about (civilian security force, ending tax benefits on 401ks) AS WELL AS "spread the wealth" from people who really didn't think they'd ever be in "giving" mode (i.e. raised taxes on people earning under $250K) AND there isn't a fairly noticeable increase in confidence among moderates and the middle class, people might start asking questions.

You know, crazy questions. . .like "why doesn't my company have a 401k anymore? And why am I losing an additional 6% of my paycheck to the federal government? And why are my income taxes higher this year than they were in 2008? And how did I become a union worker?"

Worst-case scenario is that they have to also ask "why is milk almost double what it was in 2008? Why is gas back to $4 a gallon? And didn't there used to be an Israel somewhere on the map? What happened to (insert major American city name here)?"

Those can be some tough questions--but they'll be asked IF the personal burden we all will feel is not matched by some fairly obvious gains in the overall state of the country.

And when those questions come, those of us "in the know" this election can say: "I knew about the 401K thing from FoxNews. . .HotAir was all over that new hike in payments from my salary to the government. . .ya' know, all 3 of the guys at Powerline predicted that Obama's tax plan would eventually mean higher taxes for everybody who isn't on the receiving end of his wealth "spread". . .the LA Times had evidence that Obama was very comfortable hanging out with officials from the PLO--there's no way he was ever going to lift a hand for Israel. . .etc etc"

And as all the moderates who didn't take enough time to learn the right's criticisms of this liberal candidate before they voted for him realize that they'd been played for a fool by the mainstream media folks, they will move their news-gathering activities to FoxNews and to center-right blogs.

Assuming, of course, that such outlets are still in existence.

BEFORE I am accused of hoping for horrible things to happen to the country if Obama wins on Tuesday, please know that I will greet his Presidency with an open mind. And IF Obama's administration proves to be successful in all the things that I look for from my government (protection of the Bill of Rights, good environments for law enforcement and national security agencies to do their jobs, an economic and regulatory policy that allows for the upward mobility of deserving individuals, and appropriate levels of support for allies who have stood with us through difficult times)--then I'm going to have to do some serious soul-searching in the next election. Of course, if Obama is successful on my personal "report card for American Government", then none of the things I wrote about above are going to happen.

But IF they do, I think people will wonder why their President hasn't delivered; why their Agent of Hopenchange isn't "the Obama that I thought I knew". And I think the answer they'll arrive at is going to put a good share of the "blame" on the media outlets they used to get their news this cycle.

And thus there will be repraisal.

AS LONG AS there's still an outlet for counter-mainstream reporting.

Sadly, that is not a guarantee. But it's not like the center-right media hasn't been warning about it!


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