ObsessionMay 23, 2012
The day after the General Assembly rejected a judicial nominee because of his failure to uphold his oath as a military officer and his outspoken political activism, the Richmond Times Dispatch website home page, at one point in the afternoon, had links to six (6!) different stories about the issue. A few days earlier, President Obama acknowledged publicly for the first time his support for same sex marriage, a topic still being talked about across the media.
The stories and the opinion pieces on both issues are still dotting the pages of newspapers across Virginia. Despite the overwhelming practical evidence (32 states having voted to protect the traditional definition of marriage), and despite numerous polls that show the vast majority of Americans are far more obsessed with things like having a job and, say, a national economy teetering on the brink of complete destruction, the media’s obsession with the issue continues. So, is it as simple as the media’s attempt to “distract” voters from the economy or does it reveal a deeper issue bias?
Practically speaking, the economy is no longer the media’s narrative, like it was in 2008. At that time, if you remember, all these distracting “social issues” were what got us into this mess in the first place. Now, as Americans in droves conclude that the President’s economic plans have failed to bring the promised hope and change (minus the soaring unemployment rate and national debt), the narrative is all about social issues. Convenient for the President (maybe), but still failing to convince most Americans that legalizing same-sex marriage is far more important than having a job or hope for the future.
Truth be told, the media elites and “opinion makers” are also extremely frustrated that they aren’t changing anyone’s minds on the issue of same-sex marriage. After years of telling us that everyone else is ok with it, and bullying anyone who doesn’t go along with it, they keep losing and losing badly where it matters – at the polls. These public defeats of redefining marriage prompted the liberal Public Policy Polling group to tweet the night of North Carolina’s election, "Hate to say it, but I don't believe polls showing majority support for gay marriage nationally. Any time there's a vote it doesn't back it up." And yet, what’s on today’s Washington Post website? Yup, yet another poll showing this theoretical public support for same-sex marriage.
So the media’s response is: keep saying the same thing, do more polls that show the opposite of reality, and maybe those ignorant Americans will listen this time.
So expect more and more stories and opinion pieces on the pages of the Richmond Times Dispatch, Roanoke Times, Virginian Pilot and Washington Post that talk about those dreaded social issues, and in particular same-sex marriage.
And don’t worry about being unemployed…that’s just you being selfish.