Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writing For Profits in Flyover Land

One thing I will always be grateful for is that I never was forced to write for the audience that my local writers consider their 'base'. I was writing for a small paper here for awhile, and had text corrected to make figures relating to racial background changed into figures tracked back to income and location. Six of one, half a dozen of another, in a way, but editorial insistence that news was subject to reader inclinations made my career a short one.

Today I have some pity for Karl Leubsdorf, the Washington Bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News. His column today picks a main reason for the Democrats' increasingly promising polling returns: superior fundraising. Funny, that's the same thing a fundraising letter from the McAyn campaign used as its scarey line. According to my letter, it's that Democrat fundraising machine that is about to make all of us who got this letter lose our rightful place at the trough. We need to send our money in quick, or the left will get into office.

I guess it's just not in backwards press contributors' best interest to tell its readers that the country has experienced a disaster because of rightwing policies. It would be risky indeed to point out that eight years of favoring the rich at the expense of working people has resulted in economic catastrophe.

This time, it's the Democrats who believe they are headed for what could become their party's biggest victory in more than 40 years and the Republicans who are bracing for a potentially devastating defeat.

Though both sides caution that the outcome could yet change, it's clear what has created this situation.

In strictly political terms, Barack Obama and the Democrats have out-performed John McCain and the Republicans. They've raised more money, spent it strategically and created an organization equal, if not superior, to the one Republicans built in 2004.

They've focused laser-like on a half-dozen states that voted Republican in recent years, like Virginia and Colorado, while the McCain campaign made a late play for Pennsylvania and played defense elsewhere in hopes of winning a narrow electoral margin.

Mr. Obama has done his share of negative campaigning, but mostly in paid advertising. The Republicans have done more on the stump. Mr. Obama has also developed and maintained a single rationale for his candidacy, while Mr. McCain has flitted from one approach to another.

Ah, there at the end, our writer dares to point out that there is a touch of substance involved in this successful campaign. Flitting from one approach to another is certainly going to lose you votes. Of course, if your approach had some rational basis to it ... oh, silly me. There is a growing crowd of disappointed readers, a group that you don't want to insult with the facts.

Be very glad you don't depend for a living on pandering to the right wing. They've shown for eight years that the facts are not going to impress them. I will just be comfortable I never had to play up to the element the GOP needs to depend on for votes, or in flyover land for readers. I'm not sure I could think up anything screwy enough for that crowd.

Thank you for your good sense, readers.


It was a bit of a shock to go out to lunch at a place I frequented when I was working in Dallas, getting a bill twice what I had been used to paying. Salaries haven't gone up. Your lunch costs twice what it did a couple of years ago. That's not a hard equation for reality based voters.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home