The Great Bush Comeback
Not to say I told you so - but the scenario that I described last week in The Washington Redskins and The Great Bush Comeback is taking form. This morning in print, on the radio and on T.V. and cable, the news is spreading that vice-president Al Gore's lead over Texas Governor George W. Bush is all but gone. As I previously wrote, look for the two candidates to be in a dead heat by next week's presidential debate.
Already, the analysts are spinning the "comeback" in terms of the excellence of the execution of the Bush campaign, punctuated by Bush's appearances on Oprah and Regis juxtaposed to the stumbling of the Gore campaign last week, punctuated by Gore's excessive exaggeration of the facts.
That is the logic being offered to explain the shift in the polls
The whole thing is an illusion as it is my opinion that most Americans, when left alone with the facts and clear analysis, feel that Bush didn't have all that great of a week and Gore didn't have all that bad of one. But because the mainstream media determined that Bush was ready to have a good week and they covered his activities last week with that expectation, they helped produce that very perception in the minds of some in the general public. They did so through repetition and the manner in which they positioned Bush and Gore, particularly in the evening news coverage.
So now, supposedly, the polls are reflecting the great week that Bush had last week and the not-so-great week that was Gore's. And as they do so, the political pundits wax poetic about the historical nature of this presidential race -- that it is the closest in recent history -- as opposed to holding Gore and Bush over the fire according to the positions that they have taken and the issues that they have and have not raised.
Every individual American voter will have to make their decision in this election based upon whatever criteria they hold. Hopefully, each individual will be able to see through the fair weathered nature of the media's coverage of the leading presidential candidates and focus on the qualities, principles and issues that matter most to them.
Because if we don't decide who should be president in those terms, the mainstream media will make that decision for us - one way or the other...
Monday, September 25, 2000