Orwellian lede of the day

Goes to Matt Apuzzo of the AP for this gem: “Trying to head off a potentially embarrassing state ethics report on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report Thursday that clears her of any wrongdoing.”

I’m incredibly sad that I’ve missed out on blogging these past few weeks, as the McCain and then McCain-Palin campaign has become the dark side of postmodernism’s poster child, but I hope to make up ground quickly, starting with this.

The parallel, spin-centered universe in which McCain lives finds full justification in clearing Palin — an absurd proposition that any rational person would laugh at — because nobody cares about facts. Factuality is completely irrelevant to this campaign. What matters is presenting a counter-narrative and caricaturizing any inquiries into potential malfeasance as one of a number of tropes: “elitism,” “the left-wing mainstream media,” or “partisan politics.” As far as the campaigns, the media, and most voters (at least the ones whose engagement with politics goes no further than watching the 6 o’clock news and CNN/Fox/MSNBC) are concerned, all that matters is that a suitable narrative can be spun out of the air, to be defended passionately by its adherents and scoffed at by “the other side.”

The notion of a politically-engaged public sphere capable of rational-critical debate, to put it in Habermas’ terms, is a complete fiction in contemporary America.

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~ by Benji on 9 October 2008.

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