Seinfeld

A Reminder of the Stakes

Steve Benen considers one of the quieter, yet more important stakes on the table in today’s midterm election:

We’ve probably all seen comparisons between the 2014 elections and “Seinfeld” – it’s the campaign cycle about “nothing.” The analyses are understandable, given just how little focus there’s been on anything resembling substance. Quick quiz: name the defining issue of this year’s elections.msnbc

If you said, “Ebola-carrying terrorists hiding in Mexico,” you appreciate just how vapid much of this campaign season has been.

But for many Americans, a great deal is at stake today. These families may not get a lot of attention, and they may not be as fascinating to political reporters as Bruce Braley’s neighbor’s chickens or Alison Lundergan Grimes’ 2012 presidential preference, but they’re probably wondering today whether the election results will allow them to receive affordable medical care.

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Benen, Steve. “Medicaid expansion on the line in many key races”. msnbc. 4 November 2014.

Part of the Problem

The most popular items on Huffington Post, ca. 2 September 2014.To the one, it is very easy to pick on the Huffington Post; to the other, well, yeah, never mind. The question is what the historians and anthropologists will write about this period of human communication. Naturally, we jest; the real question is whether or not the journal article can be published in under sixty characters.

What? Really? Show of hands: Who thinks Twitter will last that long?

Alright, then. Follow-up: How long before 140 is too long?

Uh-huh. See how that works?

Still, the great testament of Huffington Post and other online news sites will be the consumerist outlook; news and information, once considered vital to civic function, are now merely mass-produced trinkets, the inconvenient content one must necessarily tease consumers with in order to facilitate the commercial transactions that are a news organization’s real reasons for existing.

True, it sounds grim. But look at what people are reading.