Salon’s Glenn Greenwald on what elections are really about; the corporate press and business with the general populace mere bystanders:
Obviously, at least in theory, presidential campaigns are newsworthy. But consider the impact from the fact that they dominate media coverage for so long, drowning out most everything else. A presidential term is 48 months; that the political media is transfixed by campaign coverage for 18 months every cycle means that a President can wield power with substantially reduced media attention for more than 1/3 of his term. Thus, he can wage a blatantly illegal war in Libya for months on end, work to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past his repeatedly touted deadline, scheme to cut Social Security and Medicare as wealth inequality explodes and thereby please the oligarchical base funding his campaign, use black sites in Somalia to interrogate Terrorist suspects, all while his Party’s Chairwoman works literally to destroy Internet privacy — all with virtually no attention paid.
Paradoxically, nothing is more effective in distracting citizenry attention away from events of genuine political significance than the protracted carnival of presidential campaigns. It’s not merely the duration that accomplishes this, but also how it is conducted. Obviously, how the candidates brand-market themselves has virtually nothing to do with what they do in power; the 2008 Obama campaign, which justifiably won awards from the advertising industry for how it marketed its product (Barack Obama), conclusively proved that; or recall the 2000 George W. Bush’s campaign vow for a “more humble” foreign policy.