Back on January 7, it merely looked bizarre when George Stephanopoulos questioned Mitt Romney for almost 4 minutes on the subject of contraception in a GOP debate, as we’ve previously observed. The question seemed to come from outer space, as the audience reaction showed. Now, two months later, it turns out that this theme is part of the administration’s re-election strategy, and not, as it were, a Fluke. The administration needed a wedge issue to shore up support among women voters, and to demonize the opposition. We suppose that’s fair enough as far as the politics go.
It’s not fair enough as far as the media establishment goes. The Stephanopoulos harangue of Romney now seems to have been intended to elicit a blunder from the GOP frontrunner before the issue became a big deal and the governor’s advisers would have briefed him about it in detail. Asking the question was okay; spending four minutes on it seems to us evidence of active collusion between ABC News and the White House. It’s hardly the the worst complicity by the media in spreading vile lies about the administration’s opposition, but it’s particularly egregious since it illustrated just how carefully a Media-Administration narrative is created and rolled out over time. It’s as though we’re all living in a work of fiction like The Matrix. We’re being fed planned fictional narratives meticulously story-boarded in advance by the administration and given a helpful narrative arc by the media. It’s frightening that the media are this corrupt and compliant.
And speaking of fiction — if this past week were a novel, its most dramatic plot twist to date took place when the media’s number one tormentor, Andrew Breitbart, 43, suddenly and shockingly dropped dead while walking alone in Brentwood after midnight. Quite a few people were pretty happy about it, including, we presume, some who are smart enough to avoid using twitter. You’ve got to admit that it’s just the sort of thing you’d see in a thriller about the corrupt American media establishment.
There are only a few important issues in the campaign of 2012. However, the media no doubt will be paying less attention to these and more to creating and sustaining a helpful narrative arc to the stories that the administration and its advisers have selected as useful electorally. Very depressing.