The latest CNBC-moderated Republican primary debate provided the clearest evidence yet of how disconnected the mainstream media has become in this country. The debate was full of petty provocations, irrelevant topics (should the government regulate fantasy football, really?!?), and loaded ‘gotcha’ interrogation-style questions that bared the media’s consistently liberal bias and smug disregard for the concerns of the American voting public.
Who can remember ever such a vapid, toothless media spectacle as the debate moderated by a cast of lightweight cable news anchors? The substance-free nitpicking was probably best evidenced in a series of questions posed to candidate Dr. Ben Carson about his relationship with the Mannatech pharmaceutical company. In a revealing double standard, the moderators at CNBC drudged up a ridiculous accusation of impropriety by Dr. Carson, and yet these same commenters never question the glaring conflict of interests involving Hillary Clinton, her foundation, and its foreign government funders. While Carson may have had a passing association with this Mannatech (he never endorsed their products and has no financial relationship with the company), Hillary Clinton accepts tens of millions of dollars from foreign nations hoping to influence U.S. Government policy. Why does the liberal media never directly pose the question to Mrs. Clinton about how her affiliation with the Clinton Foundation would pose potential ethical conflicts were she to be elected?
These glaring double standards epitomize the reason why the rise of the outsider candidate is not only a repudiation of mainstream politics, but a repudiation of the mainstream media. Has anyone in the mainstream media even stopped to consider this: Across the three Republican debates thus far, Dr. Carson has never been declared by the media to be the winner, and yet he leads in the polls. How could that possibly be?
The fact of the matter is that the people are fed up with the same old stuff. The send their elected officials to Washington, only to have their voices lost amidst the insider wheeling and dealing and special interest politics. People are fed up with a media machine that tries to pick their leaders for them my using muckraking, innuendo and selective exposure to try and paint a tawdry picture of their disfavored candidates.
The fact of the matter is that with the explosion of the media, there has been an explosion in petty controversies. Everyone is competing for eyeballs among an increasingly fractured viewership. And in response the mainstream media seems to believe that is has to become even more rude, incendiary and combative to gain the public’s attention. It should come as no surprise that one of CNBC’s most popular programs is a show called “The Squawk Box.”
But the American people are fed up with the nonsense. They are fed up with the fat cat insider politicians and their fat cat friends in the media. While Wall Street gets rich, while corporations enjoy mile high stock market valuations, and media stars get ever wealthier from stoking the muckraking fray, the American people are left to muddle through it all. They find themselves in a situation in which labor force participation is at an all-time low. Despite supposedly low unemployment, wage growth has stagnated. College students graduate to six-figure debt to low paying jobs in the retail industry, displacing high school graduates.
Those who lack even the credentials to get full time employment are left to fend for themselves in the so-called ‘gig’ economy. They are underemployed. The cities are facing racial strife, crime and violence born of hopelessness. Young people are delaying starting families and purchasing homes because they cannot afford the high cost of living, and have zero job stability of prospects for growth. Retirees are facing the bleak prospects of having the social security cut amidst a raging fight over entitlements and crippling government debt. And all the mainstream media can concern itself with is the vague intricacies of fantasy football? It’s almost as if they are in a fantasy world and believe the real world itself is a game of fantasy football. The have completely and totally lost touch with reality.
Despite the spin, people know when they are being screwed. It’s gotten to the point where they just don’t want to hear it anymore. So what, you’ve got experience in Washington. When you were there, what did you do? Why is the country worse off than before you arrived? About the worst thing a politician can say in this election cycle is that they have experience in Washington, or even government in general. It immediately taints them with the scarlet “I” for insider.
Make no mistake about it, this is the year of the outsider. Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump are not going away. Mainstream candidates will not be able to carry this election, despite the best efforts of their friends in the mainstream media. The people are in an uprising against the status quo, and the uprising won’t be stopped, or muted or coopted, as it has been in the past. People want something radically different. It is high time the mainstream media get used to it.