Let me share my own thoughts for once instead of letting a link do it for me. I feel, from the bottom of my heart, that Bush’s “true believers”, those with their bumper stickers, and who refuse to face facts, believe most news media to be untrustworthy. They feel it doesn’t speak to them, that it doesn’t talk their language, and worst, talks down to them. They feel it doesn’t address their concerns. They feel left out. Disenfranchised. History seems to be moving far too fast, or at least this explosion in media makes it feel so. They fear it. They fear change. They appreciate someone who sounds “straight up”. They recognize that as the sound of honesty, even while *we* may think of it as bluster. They recognize loud volume as strength, and strength is something to desire in someone you want to have protect you. They want to kick some ass. That comes back to volume. Speak like you mean it. They trust that. Gray areas? Nuance? Those are for girlie-men. Girlie-men can’t defend their goldfish let alone a country.
Let’s get something clear – people do not communicate the same way. We respond to tones, colors and words differently. The Bush campaign is playing the tune it thinks will reach out to its base. It recognizes their feelings and instead of repuditing them, it connects with them. It relates to their concerns, and says it will address them. It comes down to marketing. It’s that simple. If newspapers marketed themselves to the Fox News crowd – it would be a different picture. But by and large, most don’t. So it’s not about “truth”. It’s about Coke vs. Pepsi. There are some who drink one, those that drink the other, and the rest of us folk who really don’t give a damn and rather have a beer. What you’re witnessing is the result of the nichification of mass media and those who use it for exploitation.
Until there is a source of news that these folks feel they can trust, that shares stories with the same view of truth as yours, well…
…for those who don’t get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ”You think he’s an idiot, don’t you?” I said, no, I didn’t. ”No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” In this instance, the final ”you,” of course, meant the entire reality-based community.
Ron Suskin, New York Times: 10/17/04