McCain’s Change and Corporate Media

September 16, 2008 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

I appear as a guest on Peter B. Collins‘ radio show — which is fun because it has live callers. It’s like talking to blog commenters, if commenters were more supportive. (Kidding! Sort of.)

Anyway, in a segment on Friday, a caller raised big questions about how Republicans can possibly seize the change mantle, if that means they’d have to clean up their own mess; while another suggested that the public is partly complicit in supporting a failing press.

Below are excerpts for interested readers:

Michael *(Carmel Valley): Thank you, Peter. Hello, Ari. I just wanna make a couple quick comments about the *Palin-McCain ticket, which I think, in some ways that’s what it’s become….one of the most important comments made during this campaign has gone almost under the radar, and it happens to beImage has not been found. URL: Jon Stewart interviewing Mike Huckabee—do you remember this one, where he [suggested] to Mike Huckabee that his position is basically, quote, “Our party is the only party that can clean up the mess made by our party**.” And I think that’s the sort of thing we have got to get our arms around.

Ari: I think Michael’s right. I think that is the narrative that the Republicans settled on. But we should be careful here, in this sort of season of discontent, to understand that just as Democrats dislike it when politicians in the party move to the right — out of the perception that they can get votes that way, right or wrong — that worries the left.

Well, there is something positive for Barack Obama here, that after months of “Experience,” [and] “Ready to Lead” and “Country First” from the McCain campaign, they have settled here, in their final hours, on his message of “Change.” Now it’s working — that they’re co-opting part of it — and that Sarah Palin brought, as The New York Times put it, the “stamp of history to the ticket.” That’s not an insignificant thing — apart from ideology and apart from the lies we were discussing earlier.

But it also represents Democrats, for once, defining what is politically palpable and nationally desirable, and the trick for Obama is not to let it be co-opted. But they’re running on change because Obama made change universally desired in this electorate. That is something worth remembering…. they [now] value change over experience in their own politicking.

Pat (Humboldt): Hi Peter B. and Ari. The media will keep lying to us as long as we keep paying them to lie to us. As long as we subscribe to cable, as long as we subscribe to newspapers, they will keep lying to us…

Peter: Well, they’re trying to distract their way to the finish line, and some of it is working, right, Ari?

**Ari: **Yeah, I think distracting works. I think you’re right that there’s a market here, and if you can get away with it, it’s supported. There are changes–I was on Rachel Maddow’s radio show tonight before this. I think she’s great and I think she’s doing well with a marketable, successful show on television now. And then obviously, I’ll say it out of self-interest but not with any ambivalence, the places that I write for—The Nation, reader-supported since 1865 and not corporate; The Washington Independent, a different model but a non-profit, which allows us to do different things than corporate media. And you can go to those sites and support them any way you can. We appreciate it—it helps.