Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Presidential Debate High Tech, Media Lynching

Let me state my premise clearly: Aside from what the mob of media commentators and pundits,  opposition spinners, comedians ,talk show hosts and sympathetic apologists spew,  there is no standard-based evidence that President Barak Obama blew or lost the first presidential debate with challenger Mitt Romney, any more than there is evidence that the thousands of black men lynched in the not too distant past suffered that fate because  they  accosted white women or did something wrong.

You may think this a harsh comparison however it is really too mild because the mass hysteria which drives these mob falsehoods and culminates in such lynchings, whether real or symbolic, starts with a few who speak as if they are in the know (and who are largely white males), who have a high platform and loud megaphone, in this case, television and other media, spouting “expert opinions” which the masses blindly follow like lemmings to the sea of ignorance.

And anyone who believes that race is not a factor in these modern day lynchings likely would have said the same about the past atrocities. Our society is in extreme denial and danger when we trust those who presently dominate our air waves, no matter how entertaining and nice or reasonable sounding they may appear.  This is the mass brainwashing which has so long dominated our society that it has diminished our ability to think for ourselves and independently investigate truth. It has also perverted our standards of right and wrong and boiled it down to “if it is said over and over again on TV and other media then it must be true”.  (One stark example: post-debate polls state that over 60% believe that Romney won the debate yet almost the same amount feels that he was less honest than Obama.)

So, one must then ask, what is the standard for “winning the debate” and since when are media pundits and commentators, who have no credentials to determine such standards and are certainly no authority on such matters, trusted to judge the outcomes.   Therefore I searched and searched the internet for one evaluation of the debate by a true expert and past judge of debates or a leader of debate teams, to no avail, so I conducted my own interviews of some, including one who helped inspire the movie, “The Great Debaters”.  And not to my surprise, none thought there was a clear winner and all felt it was close one way or the other.  In fact, they all felt that both candidates performed well and focused on principles over personalities.

My first recommendation, therefore, for the next Presidential debates, is that a diverse panel of experienced debate judges or coaches be selected to judge the debates, using the intelligent standards that are set by experience and not by those seeking ratings by habitually exaggerating everything to compete with reality TV.  Or, if it is too late to accomplish this for this electoral season, surely the TV networks and other media can recruit and utilize such panels to score the debates.  Failing that, or even better, additionally each individual should evaluate the coming debates for themselves, according to established standards that they research themselves. (I did this for the last debate and though I am clearly an Obama supporter, not for political but for cultural reasons, I gave Romney many points and a slight edge in delivery.

I left the debate feeling very good about both men’s performances, and about the dignity of the debate itself which signaled to me a maturing of the whole process and the country as a whole, only to be shocked by the post-debate barrage of one-sided criticism of the President, which to some African Americans and Latinos I spoke with felt it was a corporate-controlled media conspiracy to discredit the President and help the white man win.

I don’t know if it was but I do know that race influences everything we do in America and that it was ironic and not surprising therefore that most of the harshest critics of the President’s performance were and are white. And I also know that white people, especially white men, both liberal and conservative, have an inherent sense of superiority that we are often unaware of but which enables us to arrogantly think and speak as if we “know” when we don’t have a clue, and then we will often do anything to hide or cover up the fact that we don’t know.

This certainly came into play in the debate and the aftermath.

Rich Pellegrino

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