So by now everyone's heard about the Petraeus and Allen scandals hitting the media across the nation. They've even spawned quite a number of conspiracy theories as to just what is going on, with everything lining up pretty conveniently to come out a week after elections were decided. Yet few people are actually asking one question: what is all of this actually drawing the focus away from?
It's no secret that political misdirection through media manipulation is one of the best tools for getting the public to care less about some bad publicity that's going on right now and shift it over to something that's much more juicy (and likely to get a lot of social media buzz these days). Not sure what exactly media manipulation is? Check out the Wikipedia article on it, or better yet, watch the movie "Wag the Dog" - in that a media group actually went so far as to fabricate an entire war just to get the public to care less about what was going on behind the closed doors of a naughty politician.
For those of you who don't like clicking links and reading comprehensive articles, here's the gist of what media manipulation means to us (straight from Wikipedia):
"Media manipulation is a series of related techniques in which partisans create an image or argument that favors their particular interests."
In other words, media manipulation is the process of using something sparkly and shiny to distract you from something ugly and dirty.
Let's put this into an example:
Say a random guy walks up to you carrying a rotten fish in his left hand. Naturally you're going to think this person is crazy and focus on that dead fish because, let's be honest, rotten fish stink and are just plain weird to be carried around by random guys. Now let's say that the same guy walks up to you with the fish in his left hand, but offers you a handful of diamonds in his right. Suddenly you're focused on the shiny handful of cash and don't really care so much about the fish. Sure, the fish is still there, but what is a little stink compared to something else much more desirable? Pretty soon you may even forget about the fish entirely, provided that the diamonds keep on coming.
This whole debacle of the Petraeus and Allen scandals is the handful of diamonds that keeps on giving as it distracts us from the whole pile of dead fish that were left stinking around the country (and, heck, the world) following the elections. When you really boil it down, the case is simply a matter of a guy (or guys) having an affair. Even MSNBC News reports that from their own survey 28 percent of married men and 18 percent of married women have cheated. With a population of over 314 million people in the US and approximately 55.7 percent of those over the age of 18 being married that means we're looking at roughly 88 million married men and 88 million married women, or 24.5 million cheating men and 15.75 million cheating women.
24.5 cheating men and 15.75 cheating women. Where's their news spotlight?
Or better yet, where's the spotlight and social focus on some of the stinking fish that so many people are tending to ignore these days? For instance:
Romney and Obama clashed over jobs in their debates, particularly "bringing jobs back from China". Yet with everything going on Obama's foreign policy team is under heavy global fire.
Or what about taxes? The Obama administration is currently looking at a HUGE tax plan that's not in the range of billions but trillions of dollars - $1.6 trillion, to be exact.
Maybe people might like to know as well abou the current change in Chinese politicians, since so many of our products are produced there and any major disruption to trade could be devastating.
People may also like to know why analysts are pushing for the US to focus more on sub-Saharan Africa when Obama and Romney spoke almost exclusively about Asia instead over the past few weeks.
Using media manipulation to distract the public for bigger, more serious issues is not new. The BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares" explores at one point how this (among other things) was used to try and discredit and get rid of Clinton in the Whitewater scandal which ultimately led to Monica Lewinsky being discovered.
Maybe the most important of all, what about Benghazi?
Just be sure to keep an eye out for the main news out there when it breaks. Or, you know, don't. Ignorance has been working so far for this guy: