American Media Whipping up Election Melodrama

Obviously, a close race is more exciting than a race that’s one-sided. And the closer the race, the more excitement it generates. And you and I know it’s excitement that generates readers, listeners and viewers. So it’s not hard to figure out why the U.S. media are jumping up and down and conjuring up the likelihood of an Obama defeat.

It’s not as if the American media still have any credibility. They have nearly all been bought out by the big corporations and exist to make a profit, not to do any good for society.

But even so, I find the melodrama being whipped up on TV today disheartening.

I suppose it’s what we can expect in the prevailing moral climate. After all, if Republican candidate Mitt Romney can spout an avalanche of lies and get unanimous praise for his debate “performance,” how can anyone expect the media to be any more honorable?

I was surprised this afternoon to hear the pundits on MSNBC’s The Cycle selling tomorrow night’s vice-presidential debate as a make-or-break event. According to these folks, Joe Biden must win the debate or Obama will lose the presidency.

I fully expect Joe Biden to expose Paul Ryan as the snake you and I know Ryan is. But even if Joe doesn’t “win” the debate, life will go on, and the election will turn out pretty much as it would have turned out anyway.

All but a handful of voters already have made up their minds, and debates won’t do much to change that. But the TV pundits have to find something to get excited about, I guess.

Sometimes I wonder why MSNBC is known as a “liberal”  TV channel. I suppose it’s as liberal as any TV outlet can be when it’s owned by Comcast (and I think General Electric still has a minority interest in the company).

Fortunately, there are still a few reliable sources of information for those who want to know how the presidential race really stands.

I find myself more and more switching over to Current TV to get my information. Several former MSNBC and CNN anchors have  resurfaced on Al Gore’s TV station. I guess they weren’t quite corporate enough for the “mainstream media.”

Anyway, just in case you’ve been listening to the hysteria that has greeted Romney’s slight improvement in the polls since the debate, I suggest you check out Nate Silver’s 538 blog in the New York Times. You will find that despite Romney’s improved poll numbers, President Obama still has about a 70 percent chance of being re-elected. I’ll take those odds anytime.

One reason is that the presidential election is based on “electoral votes” from the various states, and the Obama states, which tend to be more urban and therefore more densely populated, have more electoral votes than the more rural Romney states.

Sure, Romney is doing better since his “sweet-mouth” performance last Wednesday. As P.T. Barnum observed, “a sucker is born every minute.”

But there are only so many suckers, and those of us who have been around during Mitt’s ever-changing iterations know we can’t believe a word he says.

Click here for Nate Silver’s 538 blog.