The roar of approval for Gingrich’s smackdown of the press last night was not so much about Gingrich’s disgusting and chutzpah-filled defense of his vile behavior as it was a volcanic eruption of contempt for a media richly deserving of that contempt. It is notable that this contemptible media engages in not one scintilla of reflection about that in the wake of that.
Really Gingrich and the media are (like Gingrich and Freddie Mac) deeply incestuous (but then, we know how Gingrich feels about the need for his lovers to share him. There’s just too much awesomeness crackling in that Teacher of Civilization to be confined by bourgeois mores). As one of my readers says:
Newt and the other Republican candidates exist strongly in the public mind as a mere consequence of the media. If they did not get such free air on the new stations, the race would be over.
The media actually has given the Tea Party and its varied inadequate candidates a hearing they wouldn’t have gotten in 1975. Why? Withhout a fight, without conflict, the media would have no audience. So they created a primary battle, which, if left to its own resources without media he,lp would have had Paul, Romney and Santorum win in Iowa, with Santorum going nowhere after, since his organization didn’t exist elsewhere. The media functions like Don King. Don King builds up his next big fight with some inadequate challenger in order to build an audience for his pay-per-view event. The media has done that for candidates that don’t have the organizational strength to show up in New Hampshire (Bachman and Perry) and the organizational strength to show up on the Virginia ballot (Perry and Gingrich). No way should these candidates be held in any esteem. They are media creations. Newt’s candidacy will die once he has to focus his campaign on more than one location.
The “blame the media” piece is for entertainment to saturate the serotonin receptors of talk radio conservatives who love this type of trash talk. Its part of the circus act. It was a predictable response because Gingrich knows from lots of focus group testing that such a response spurs on positive responses from a certain type of voter. He is playing those voters with reponses he has discovered promote certain types of feeling. As such, he treats the conservative voter like a herd beast, controlled by a stimulus-response mechanism that would make Pavlov proud.
Newt loves the media. It is his favorite mistress. He is only acting.
The media exists to sell beer and shampoo–and to maintain the worldview that their corporate owners wish to be maintained. We are suckers for trusting them, and for trusting Newt, Obama, or almost any other member of our Ruling Class.