Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Face of Mainstream (Mass) Media: Helen Thomas, The End of an Era

I don't know if she's still living -- nor do I really care -- but John McCain's introduction of Sarah Palin as the most important and influential woman in the country, who would challenge the eastern establishment, did not sit well with -- the eastern establishment, and set them off in a rage that the perpetual sneer and loathing on Helen Thomas' face immortalizes. That is the face of a woman scorned -- and consumed with vengeance to retaliate.

Throughout much of the 20th century, the self-anointed dictators of American thought and culture at the New York Times and Washington Post decided what was fit to be news, and in the beginning of the 21st century, that has shifted more to television celebrities, but beyond that, is the shift away from mass media altogether, and mass anything as well -- as the shapers of participation and thinking in the emerging new culture, moves on toward more personalized and authentic real involvement.

So what we now see playing out in the mass media, is the beginning of the end -- because mass media has become increasingly dominated by the partisan left -- driving out everybody else, which the politics of this election just makes ever more clear. Fortunately, that half of the population being driven out, is the portion of society well-equipped and well-disposed to carry on without and beyond the mass media, centered around affinity groups of common and strongly shared values and beliefs.

That would be the churches obviously but also other interest groups that bond because of their passion and high engagement -- which the secular media does not, by its very superficial nature of reporting from the outside journalist's point of view. The only exception, is the discussion of the relatively disengaging political arena which they have killed because of their overarching dominance of that discussion -- from their liberal, eastern elitist perspective they maintain is the enlightened and progressive -- they wish to impose on everybody else as the only way it can be now -- as their only remaining "expertise."

Thinking Americans and people of the world, feel competent to do their own thinking now. They have as much access to the information -- and no longer are dependent on the superior "intelligence" of such people to tell them what to think.

So the political campaign they are discussing, is largely symbolic of that struggle to maintain that control and influence in America, for one final show of power -- but as we note in the personages that should be its venerable figureheads, those faces morph into contortions of hate, partisanship and unrelenting ugliness with no redeeming qualities, no reason for continuing to tune in other than for that continuing control. For that, one can just as easily talk to the old lady (man) down the street complaining about everything -- sharing her misery about the life she can no longer delude anyone she is the center of. She is the proverbial "gray lady."

And that is also the fitting end for the television reign of "Oprah" as the contemporary goddess of all things right and wonderful in this country as well -- undoubtedly for the next generation of wannabes to her fame and fortune. But she is her own end of an era. The next generation will not be about endless self-promotion and aggrandizement -- masquerading as charm, wit and charisma. One wonders why one should be seeing "Whoopi" on television at all.

They are exhausting themselves in the selling of "Obama" -- whose charm is that he owes his persona entirely to the power of the mass media. He is their ultimate creation, entirely from nothing. They made him entirely, and can destroy him just as easily. And that is their power. But there is no reality to sustain that image -- beyond the unrelentingly campaign to, which eventually consumes every bit of energy and resources to maintain the fiction in preference to the reality. And so their final victory is their ultimate collapse into nothingness.

One walks away -- and it merely shrivels. It is the end of an era.