Thursday, June 12, 2008

The ObaMain Stream Media Strategy

The media narrative of the Obama campaign is that it's an extension of the civil rights movement. This dovetails with the symbolism of Obama as the fulfillment of Martin Luther King's Dream. To that end, there are several elements of strategy that are becoming apparent.

  • Make it about the voters
  • If it must be about the candidates, then make it a referendum on Obama
  • A vote for Obama is a vote for Kennedy and King
While no one exerts active control over the media, as a group they are so collectively taken by Obama that no coordination is necessary beyond that of the campaign going on about its business, with the enthralled press in tow.

The ObaMainStream Media have set up veritable system of aqueducts to carry water for the Chosen One. Some key trunks of this system are that
  1. He has to fight voter racism (while not mentioning how many of his supporters vote for him based on race)
  2. He has to battle *gasp* misinformation spam and
  3. They have to carry his water, because poor widdle Barry is carrying his cross with such good cheer

A Washington Post story in March detailed for us some instances of what it presented as racism faced by the Obama campaign.

For all the hope and excitement Obama's candidacy is generating, some of his field workers, phone-bank volunteers and campaign surrogates are encountering a raw racism and hostility that have gone largely unnoticed -- and unreported -- this election season. Doors have been slammed in their faces. They've been called racially derogatory names (including the white volunteers). And they've endured malicious rants and ugly stereotyping from people who can't fathom that the senator from Illinois could become the first African American president.

A white campaign worker was chased by a dog and alleges she was told by a voter that he (or she) would never vote for a black person. Door slamming and running from dogs is the treatment every campaign receives. If you think that's bad, try selling stereos door to door, as I did one summer in college.

A pattern in the WaPo story was that each time an incident is described specifically, a lone campaign worker is there to report it, or the story is second hand. Yes, I question their veracity, and also that of the Post reporter.

When planning in a telemarketing operation, a business or organization must calculate both the positive and negative effects that cold calls to customers (or voters) will have. Spammers and spammy telemarketers are distinguished from human beings in that they don't care about the negatives. They burn through their leads, and if they can get a sale, that's great. But they're also using up good will, and sometimes the cold call will be enough to sour someone completely. Most people do not like telemarketing calls, and many feel no obligation to be polite or even truthful with them, despite empathy for the actual person doing the calling.

Out of the thousands called, only a handful have said they would not vote for him because he's black. And yet these are the ones we hear about, implying that anyone who is against Obama is in that group.

A campaign wishing to unite would be foolish to ignore the negative effects of telemarketing. The Obama campaign instead blames the voters for disliking telemarketing calls.

In his March 18 speech on racism in America, Barack Obama told white America that black America is full of resentment over history. Even more, he said explicitly that he chose to run for president because of that resentment, even though his ancestors were never subject to slavery. And he said, as he has many times in the campaign, that to heal its deep racial problems all America has to do is vote for him. And he appears to feel no shame in asking for votes based not on his character but on the color of his skin.

Now the Obama campaign has found a new way to burn through cash: an elite team of cybergeniuses staffing a war room to combat rumors. Actually, it appears that the purpose of this war room is to draw attention to the false rumors and away from the actual and legitimate problems people have with the candidate.

None of his serious opponents think he's a Muslim or care what his skin color is.

I think the campaign itself keeps the false rumors alive on purpose, as strawmen. They'll do anything to prevent analysis of Obama's actual beliefs instilled in 20 years of listening to Jeremiah Wright, campaign practices learned from Tony Rezko, and lack of legislative achievement. And it keeps them from analyzing the resentment generated by the worship of the whining messiah.

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