Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Two Articles of Interest to Share…

with 6 comments

Folks, I’ve been reading a number of interesting things lately, and today seems like a good time to share two of the most thought-provoking posts.

First, from the world of publishing, is an interview my friend Chris Nuttall did for the Observer. Chris talks about his career path as an indie writer, and discusses the insights he’s learned along the way — including the importance of cover art.

Do take a look at this interview, will you? (Mind, if you’re an author or editor or have anything to do with publishing, you’ll enjoy it a lot more…but even if you aren’t, you should find something that rivets your attention.)

Next, while I was rooting around the Observer, I found this post about the 2016 United States presidential election cycle, and about how it’s being actively shaped by corporate media interests to drive business interests. It is the author Ryan Holiday’s contention that neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump would be doing anywhere near as well if they weren’t being propped up, de facto, by the media because the media wants drama with a capital D. And the more serious candidates (like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush) just don’t give them “dirty laundry” the way they want and need (to misquote Don Henley’s old song).

Worse, because Clinton and Bush don’t give the media DRAMA, they aren’t getting covered in a substantial/substantive way.

Look. I love reality TV, in its place. But United States elections are not the time for reality TV.

As Mr. Holiday says in his article:

…atypical candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are effectively subsidized by the media in order to provide the story lines those outlets require to create the compelling spectacles they need to keep the cycle going and audiences hooked.

It is in this last area that we see the highest manipulation. In Donald Trump we have a candidate who has received so much  media coverage that he did not need to run his first TV campaign ad until January—some seven months after entering the race and five months after the first televised debate. Has anyone in history gotten as much free media coverage as Donald Trump?

Mr. Holiday’s article is a must-read, especially if you’re wondering just how and why it is that we’re stuck in a poisonous, destructive election cycle with very little focus on issues that matter and way too much focus on style and DRAMA.  (Note that “drama” is Mr. Holiday’s word, but it fits so well, I had to use it, too.)

Then, after you’ve read it, ask yourself this — is this any way to run a democracy?

6 Responses

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  1. I certainly think Trump has benefited from the media coverage. He’s basically running another version of his reality show, hence all the outrageous things he says. But, I think there is a lot of bias in the media reporting. If they really wanted ‘Drama’, Hillary would be a perfect excuse. Her track record screams ‘Drama’. Unfortunately for the rest of us she appears to be the media’s chosen candidate and all of her drama happens to be negative.


    February 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    • I don’t think the media wants Hillary, Kamas. You probably don’t watch MSNBC at all, I’m guessing, or you’d _know_ just how much they’re trying to shove Bernie Sanders down our throats. And Bernie is _not_ electable by any standard.

      What d’you think of the Republican race? Who would you follow, if it were up to you? (Once Rand Paul went out of the race, it got tough for me to support any of them. I follow the debates anyway just in case, mind…)

      Barb Caffrey

      February 17, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      • Ted Cruz is about the only one I like that has a chance. I’d be OK with Carson, too. I could hold my nose and fill in the oval for Rubio.

        But there’s just no way I’ll vote for Trump. He left a bad taste in my mouth when I was kid when he ran the USFL into the ground, and he’s never done anything to improve upon that. I’ll write someone in if he gets the nod.


        February 18, 2016 at 1:39 am

      • Yeah. I agree with you about Trump and the USFL. I saw the “30 for 30” documentary about that, and Trump mismanaged the USFL something fierce.

        I do respect Ben Carson as a person. I, personally, don’t think he’d make a great POTUS, but as a person I think I’d like him.

        Rubio…he’s changed his mind too much for my liking. So I understand why you feel that way about him.

        What about Cruz attracts you? Or is he simply the least bad option in this field?

        Barb Caffrey

        February 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm

  2. That makes total sense. They want a reality show, with one dimensional stereotypes for characters! I’m still praying for a sane candidate to be nominated….


    February 17, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    • Tell me, Eurobrat. (And good to see you again!)

      On the Democratic side, Hillary is by far the superior candidate. Bernie has no foreign policy, hence is not electable, even in a “throw the bums out/we want an outsider” mood. (Bernie, BTW, is not an outsider. He spent multiple terms in the House before getting elected to the Senate. And Bernie did a good job in both places…but again, he has no foreign policy. Just none. And that isn’t acceptable.)

      On the GOP side, I think Jeb Bush and John Kasich are respectable, hard-working men. Both understand how the federal government works, though I’d give the nod to Kasich over Jeb because Kasich spent multiple terms in the House before becoming Gov. of Ohio.

      That said, if we get Bernie versus Trump, what are we supposed to do? Neither of them is ready to run the country.

      Barb Caffrey

      February 17, 2016 at 11:55 pm

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