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The Media's Billion Dollar Ad for Evan Bayh

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The mainstream media has been giving Evan Bayh a big fat sloppy wet kiss for the last 24 hours. Every single story is about how moderate and centrist and independent he is. Golly gee willikers, Evan Bayh is such a pure and innocent person and he just couldn't take the corruption of Congress anymore. He was so fed up with the partisanship and like any great man decided he must strike out on his own and leave DC.

Come on, are these people this naïve or do they have a stake in this? Do you really think Evan Bayh only has pure motivations and was the last good man in Washington? This is absolutely absurd, and on many fronts it's the exact opposite of the truth. No one made a deal with corporate lobbyists faster than Evan Bayh. He wasn't sick of the problems of DC, he was the problem of DC.

Bayh masked his craven capitulation to corporate lobbyists with a veneer of bipartisanship and moderation. If he sold out to enough special interests, he could claim that he was on both sides. But the one side he was never against was business interests that fed him his campaign cash.

So, he is a typical fake politician; I get that and I can live with it. What bothers me is how the media plays along. They have been running a giant ad for Evan Bayh's future political career or future lobbying career over the last couple of days. There is never a skeptical story about how Evan Bayh might be retiring to cash in on lobbyist money. And for those of you not familiar with the process -- and apparently that's the entire DC media -- the most powerful tool lobbyists have is the implied bribe that politicians get at the end of their career. If you play ball and do what you've been told, you're nearly guaranteed a multi-million dollar payoff at the end. Look at Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Billy Tauzin, and Dick Armey. This list goes on and on. Everybody gets rich, oh right, except the American people.

Yet, not one knucklehead on TV has suggested that Bayh might be leaving to take the money. Instead they paint him as this hero of bipartisanship and moderation. It's a giant ad for Bayh. If he wanted to buy this much positive media coverage in the form of commercials, he'd have to spend nearly a billion dollars on every station in the country. Instead, the corporate media does him this favor as a going away present. And my guess is there will be nary a word when he resurfaces as a multi-million dollar corporate lobbyist in a little while. And then if he resurfaces in politics later, again the mention of his corporate ties will be glorified as the moves of a savvy businessman and the so-called moderate will ride back into town as a hero.

If news media producers are not doing this on purpose, then they are hideously misinformed about the process and grossly negligent in reporting the real facts of Washington. If they are doing it on purpose (not the television actors posing as news anchors -- they have almost no idea -- but the producers and executives who make decisions on news coverage), then we're all screwed. Everything is an illusion meant to mask the reality of corporate dominance over Washington. If you play ball, you're a hero. If you don't, you're a fringe outsider (otherwise known to the rest of us as a real American). Corporate robots in the media supporting corporate robots in politics. I don't know why I ever get surprised by any of this.

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