Why the Republican candidates are so strange

Observation by Michael Wolff, Rupert Murdoch’s Biographer, in the Guardian:

Let’s take the present presidential election cycle, in which you have a list of candidates in the Republican party. [You look] at these people and think, “how did they get here? These are the strangest group of national candidates ever assembled, how did this happen?” The answer, most obviously, is because of Fox News. It has two million viewers who want to be entertained by politics, who need exaggerated figures to entertain them. You can only be a viable Republican if you speak to the Fox audience. They demand exaggerated figures, therefore we have conservatives who are unelectable in America.

One thought on “Why the Republican candidates are so strange

  1. I agree with this but it goes further. Even a national audience of independents who might look at Huffington Post are fascinated with Sarah Palin and almost always seem to be clicking on stories about her. They might not vote for her but they’re more interested in her than Harry Reid (Elmer Fudd) and who could blame them, she’s outrageous, he’s boring. Huff post knows this and so puts Palin stories right up front, seemingly to document her failures, but also to accumulate clicks and eyeballs. FOX has just been doing it longer and has it down.

    Stepping even further back, look at our online communities like flickr: the Explore algorithm seems to amplify high contrast, over saturated (exaggerated) images. Why is this? Because people continue to do what’s popular, not what’s unpopular, even though what’s unpopular might be the riskier and more nuanced photography. But, this is less about the vehicles, more about what the vehicles know their audiences can recognize.

    Palin and Bachmann are high contrast, over saturated images and FOX, and to a lesser extent Huff post, are their vehicles (Explores).

    I sure hope these people are unelectable, but I can tell you that even some well respected fine art photographers who are not on flickr but who show in high end galleries are amping up contrast and more heavily saturating color in their images and people are buying this stuff and hanging it on their walls. So, that probably takes Explore off the hook a bit and puts responsibility for this change of taste squarely on us. Ugh.

    Maybe Palin and Bachmann are more electable than we think and this is the most frightening thing of all. After all, in the last election cycle a lot of people on Social Security voted for a batch of Tea Party Republicans who made it clear they were going to slash Social Security and Medicare. Maybe it’s simply that Americans are getting stupider and FOX is built on this premise.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: