"Do NYTimes de 30 de Julho de 2004, transcrevo Paul Krugman:

Under the headline "Voters Want Specifics from Kerry", The Washington Post recently quoted a voter demanding that John Kerry and John Edwards talk about "what they plan on doing about health care for middle-income or lower-income people. I have to face the fact that I will never be able to have health insurance, the way things are now. And these millionaires dont seem to address that".

Mr. Kerry proposes spending $650 billion extending health insurance to lower-and-middle-income families. Whether you approve or not, you can´t say he hasn´t addressed the issue. Why hasn´t this voter heard about it?

Well. I´ve been reading 60 days´worth of transcripts from the places the four out of five Americans cite as where they usually get their news: the major cable and broadcast TV networks. Never mind the details - I couldn´t even find a clear statement that Mr. Kerry wants to roll back recent high-income tax cuts and use the money to cover most of the uninsured. When reports mentioned the Kerry plan at all, it was usually horse race analisys - how it´s playing, not what´s in it.


Somewhere along the line, TV news stopped reporting on candidates´policies, and turned instead to trivia about that supposedly reveal their personalities. We hear about Mr. Kerry haircuts, not his health care proposals. We hear about George Bush´s brush cutting, not his environmental policies.

(...) A Columbia Journalism Review Web site called campaigndesk.org, says its analisys " reveals a press prone to needlessly introduce Senators Kerry and Edwards and Kerry´s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, as millionaires or billionaires, without similar labels for President Bush or Vice President Cheney."

As the site points out, the Bush campaign has been "hammering away with talking points casting Kerry as out of the mainstream because of his wealth, hoping to influence press coverage (,...). Republicans, of all people, are practicing the politics of envy, and the media obediently go along.

In short, tht triumph of the trivial is not a trivial matter. (...)."

Por este caminho a Democracia faz-se substituir pela mediocracia."

(H. Preto)


© José Pacheco Pereira
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