I suppose it's part and parcel of the campaign season. Here are some of the odder things the media has decided to report as Election Day draws near.
Bush orders the lowering of gasoline prices to boost confidence in the Republicans before the election. No doubt, if one man has the power to dictate the price of gasoline, that's a blockbuster of a story. And if that man is the president of the United States who has been sticking it to consumers with sky-high gasoline prices to enrich his backers in the oil industry and then cuts them ahead of an election to favor his party, that's nothing short of scandalous. Of course, the real scandal is the media reporting this nonsense circulating among Democrats as anything but a loony conspiracy theory. The reason gasoline prices have fallen in the two months ahead of the election is the same reason they usually fall in September and October every year. The summer driving season is over, demand has dropped, and so prices have gone down.
A yellow dog Democrat denounces Dick DeVos for lying about a high school memory. Apparently to bolster his credentials as a leader in his race for governor, Dick Jr. reminisced on his website that his high school football coach picked him to start as quarterback in a game back in '71 and gave him a pep talk lauding young Dick's leadership skills. His old coach then went public to say it was all a lie. OK, maybe there's a story in that, except ... Who really cares about a pep talk ahead of a forgotten football game thirty-five years ago? Plus the fact that the coach is now a Democratic party activist who might have had a political motivation to not remember starting Dick and giving him a pep talk. So one wonders why the media bothered to report the dust-up at all. Maybe as an excuse to later report that Dick's coach admitting that he did start him as quarterback and probably did give him a pep tallk? In short, there was no story in the first place.
A prominent supporter of Michigan's Proposal Two consorts with racists. At least twice now the Grand Rapids Press has run dubious stories about Ward Connerly's alleged ties to white supremacist groups in his campaign for passage of Proposal Two, the ballot initiative to end racial and gender preferences in public jobs, college admissions, and contracting. Connerly is the founder of a national movement to enact "color-blind" laws in each of the states, and the Press has taken the fact that some bigots use Connerly's campaign as cover for their own despicable agenda to insinuate that Connerly and his movement endorse the bigots. Meanwhile, the Press has failed to report on the bullying tactics of the anti-Prop Two group "By Any Means Necessary" to stop Michiganders from even getting an opportunity to vote for or against Connerly's proposal and then, failing at that, to silence debate on it.
As it happens these strange tales I have pointed out largely come from left side of the political spectrum to tar the agenda and the candidates of the right. There are strange tales that work in the opposite direction too. So this isn't so much a left-right issue as the failure of the media to pass critical judgments as to what facts, and the conclusions drawn from them, merit the public's attention in the run-up to an election. I suspect the mainstream media's turn away from a hard news ethic to infotainment, as exemplified by the "happy fun news" front page typical of the Grand Rapids Press these days, has a lot to do with the loss of this essential faculty to keep foolishness out of the news.