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(Written on FB by my old friend from Bard College Richard Greener who worked in radio for about the same amount of time I have been involved with socialism.)
Why am I asked so often if I "still think" Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with ease? After all, aren't the polls getting tighter and isn't the election getting closer by the day? No, this election is not close. We're watching too much television.
A reminder not to pay attention to the “pretend journalists” who populate the TV channels like flies on a garbage heap. On commercial TV (and that includes Public Television, PBA), all the coverage of the presidential campaign is a show business production and all those involved in the coverage are performers. Ask their agents and bankers. "Broadcast journalism" is an oxymoron.
As a former broadcaster I remember well that there are 168 hours in every week and each minute of those 168 hours requires programming. Plus, there are on average 16 minutes of commercials in each hour of TV programming. Many of those commercials are only 20 seconds; some are 30 seconds; the rest are 60 seconds. Between now and Election Day there will be hundreds of millions of dollars spent on both political commercials and regular product commercials on all TV networks and stations combined. In order to satisfy the demands of these advertisers, and justify the high prices charged, TV must deliver the highest ratings possible. In order to produce those high ratings the TV “pretend newspeople” will tell us with renewed urgency every day that the race is getting closer and closer, tighter and tighter, that the outcome is in question, and the next president could be… Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Either one – it’s a tossup! You better keep watching.
This, of course, will be nonsense. It will be the same nonsense fed to us in 2008 and again in 2012. Do you remember that even Mitt Romney actually thought he was going to win and it never occurred to him to write a concession speech? People will believe anything. You'd never know it from TV, but we haven't had a close election since 2000. In 2008 Obama defeated McCain by 10 million votes and whipped him in the Electoral College 365 to 173. Yet, not a single TV channel told you this would happen by such a wide margin. Instead, they all pretended the race was getting closer and closer, tighter and tighter as Election Day loomed.
In 2012 Obama beat Romney by 5 million votes, smashing him in the Electoral College 332 to 206. Yet, once more the TV channels all said the race was close and getting closer as we approached Election Day. Barack Obama won 2 landslide elections and neither of them was foreseen by anyone on TV. Is that even possible? Well, it was never reported this way.
And of course, the same thing is happening again this year. The real "Reality TV" is not Trump, it's the TV coverage of the campaign. Don't believe what you see and hear, especially in the coming weeks. This race has never been close and it will not be close when the votes are counted. I believe HRC will win at least 35 states with 386 Electoral votes, while Trump wins at most 15 with only 152 Electoral votes. Some of you may recall my 2012 state-by-state predictions where I correctly predicted every state except one (Missouri). If anything, this time I'm overstating Trump's totals. He will save McCain's reputation because he may lose by as many as 15 million votes.
When the totals are in and Hillary Clinton is easily elected you will not hear one word from the “pretend journalists” on TV about how badly they missed the results. And I am certain we will be subjected to the same bullshit once more in 2020. There’s no business like Show Business. As The Donald himself likes to say, "Believe me."
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