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Est. April 5, 2002
March 31, 2016 - Issue 647

The Media Makes
Madness In March

"Among the players is Donald Trump. He played
the 2016 race like Shaquille O’Neal and Moses
Malone used to do with their opponents…simply
the big bully on the court. The other teams
knew not what to do with him."

This is about the time you start to realize that there will be another person presiding over the affairs of this country. In this era of March Madness, the race for US President is narrowing down to the “final four,” so to speak. Only two teams are really playing, but those two teams have several rivals among them. But, when the smoke clears, again there will be just two teams, making for a pretty predictable outcome.

The two-party electoral system in America cheats the rest of us who don’t want that Hobson choice. It’s so unlike the “field of 64” that makes the NCAA basketball tournament so attractive. Early on in the race for President, various factions with their own belief systems (BS) stride about the country with great hope. That hope is dashed pretty early in the election cycle because money - not vision, principle, or ideas - assumes its royal factor in determining who moves “to the next round.”

Those “rounds” in basketball tournaments are the equivalent of Primary weeks: “First In the Nation,” “Rust Belt,” “Super Tuesday,” or even “Super Duper Tuesday.” The Primary voting contests show the results of “game performance.” The several stump speeches and candidate debates give snapshots of the candidates’ ideas and visions for shaping America; these are the actual “games.” And, this year, my, have there been games!

Among the players is Donald Trump. He played the 2016 race like Shaquille O’Neal and Moses Malone used to do with their opponents…simply the big bully on the court. The other teams knew not what to do with him. This made him ultra dominant though he may not have had many technical skills. Donald Trump has been able to hide his lack of skills requisite for the job, all the while, scoring by slam dunks.

The race has looked like a teenage boy smacking back the efforts of his little brother. The other Republicans in the race seemed like undersized shrimps who kept getting their shots blocked by this “man among boys.” Neither Sen. Marco Rubio nor Gov. John Kasich could get a shot up and Sen. Ted Cruz couldn’t hit a 3-pointer the whole primary! Maybe they just failed to practice? But was this really the case? Was it really that they were outmatched in a super-sized game of grand proportions?

On the other side of the bracket, the Democrats matched up Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird (Baby Boomers know what I’m talking about). Former Senator Hillary Clinton came out the gate as the polished veteran with international credentials, while her most formidable opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders showed himself to be s scrappy gadfly who got the loose balls, gave out assists and served as the “Utility Man” on the team to score when points were needed. No, he wasn’t the most graceful of players, but he followed up his shots, grabbed rebounds and made his lay-ups when they were needed…a real Larry Bird type of guy.

I can’t fail to mention former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley who was the third wheel in the Democratic race for a minute (after two impossible candidates, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee fell off in the “play-in” round). He tried to look and talk presidential, but his past performances soured Democratic voters from the start. But as I asked earlier, was it really his past performance that caused his elimination, or was there another factor at play?

I’ve herein made these analogies, and I dare not stop now. In this Final Four (or Final Five), I’ve got to keep an eye on, not the scoreboard, but the scorekeeper! Who’s behind the shot clock? You see the ball sinking in the baskets, but there are outside forces telling you and I that those baskets are otherwise. The polls tell you what’s supposed to happen - and it pretty much does. And when it doesn’t, the media loses their minds!

I’ve watched corporate media downplay significant incidents that speak volumes to a specific candidate’s racial attitudes of lack of foreign policy knowledge. I saw a Black male punch, kick and stomp a white opponent at a Donald Trump rally, and the press failed to specifically address that violence - or that violent man. Now, the protestor an unacceptable racist prop to make his point. Nonetheless, the Sunday morning talk shows - all of them - chose not to cover that story! All of them? Well, that sounds like a conspiracy. That candidate got a pass - a media pass (pardon the pun) - and is still “the team to beat.”

Is the team that scores the most points the one to decide the National Champ? Well, watch out because the Republican Party is trying to derail that American tradition (heading for a repeat of 2000’s Bush v. Gore). In these times, the media, more so than in 2000, appears to be determining the winners and losers of this Presidential campaign game. That’s not how the game is supposed to be played! Brace yourself for serious, case-history, history-making shenanigans as Republicans and Democrats - are currently conniving to change rules in the middle of the game.The losers will be us, everyday people, unless we break our decades-old winning streak of voting against our own interests. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.




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Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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