Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good cop or bad cop, it's one team

A CNN reporter attempts to ask a protester some questions, and gets heckled by members of a Republican "tea party" held in Chicago last Thursday. The protesters claimed CNN was "pro-Obama."

What's really going on here?

Recall CNN health expert Sanjay Gupta's treatment of Michael Moore's documentary Sicko). Both CNN and Fox tend to present perspectives on current events that are large-corporation-friendly.

The major difference between the networks is that from the perspective of Americans on the center-left of the political spectrum -- a majority of the US voters in the last election -- Fox plays "bad cop" to CNN's "good-cop."

Fox actually helped organize the turn-out for the Conservative movement's "tea parties" held across the US last week. By targeting CNN as "biased" right wing-groups help the networks to frame the national debate in a way that is safe for corporate America. One way to do this is to convince enough people that Obama and even CNN are on the extreme left.

By and large, Obama continues to govern from the right, pushing policies that are generous to the corrupt banking industry. His administration has actively defended the Bush Administration's efforts to spy on American citizens, committed itself to sending more troops to Afghanistan in the name of fighting the guys who attacked America eight years ago, and suggested that CIA officials accused of war crimes ought not be brought to trial.

Nevertheless, both CNN and Fox both give disporportionate weight to criticisms of Obama coming from the right.

As the right of the Republican Party has governed the US for most of the past eight years, many the most substantial criticisms of Obama come from the left. The right wing movement -- with its one-policy call for "lower taxes" -- has a modest aim at this point. That is, to distract Americans from backing solutions that could change the power structure. Captains of key industries do not want the Obama Administration to make fundamental changes concerning the economy, finance, health care, and foreign policy (defense). Even reforms that could make life better for ordinary Americans, and put the economy and environment on a sure-footing, are anathema to the oligarchs.

Good cop or bad cop, it's the same boss.

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SPECIAL COVERAGE I live-blogged the spontaneous Obama victory celebration in Washington DC. Experience what it felt like to be among thousands of deliriously happy people gathered outside the White House. Click here.

Previously, I had been blogging about the Obama, McCain and the US election. I wrote about Sarah Palin on this blog even before McCain chose her to be his running mate. The choice was disappointing, and a possibility I had anticipated.

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