“You never let a serious crisis go to waste” is now Rahm’s Rule. Erstwhile White House Chief of Staff and now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now immortal with that remark. He will live in political wisdom- or infamy — with California’s Jesse “Big DAddy” Unruh’s “Money is the mothers’s milk of politics.” The truth in politics is always a bastard, seldom acknowledged by its father; both men likely regretted their now undying remarks.
The Emanuel codicil as yet unattributed, must be: “And if no such crisis has appeared, call in the newsfolk to make one.” Those newsfolk compete with other TV shows for ratings that control the fees they can charge sponsors. Judging by the ratio nowadays between news and advertising, Fox News must rake in a lot of money. And as with its competition, it needs constant excitement to attract the eyeballs that comprise its ratings. People watch news for excitement, not for boredom. So TV and cable news need a steady stream of crises; think ISIS, Ebola, Ferguson.
It is worth noting that production costs for these sorts of goings-on are a lot less than those for say, “A Game of Thrones.” And even better, any blood is real …
Recalling Shakespeare, MacBeth’s Queen famously said: “What is this I see before me, handle toward my hand?” Today’s politicians, no slower on the uptake than MacBeth’s wife, have learned to manufacture crises as well as the TV folk; the present ‘news’ from Ferguson, MO is proof. It takes planning, talent and much money and effort to produce the ongoing Ferguson “spontaneous” demonstrations of arson,m looting and destruction we will be seeing for a while. The media are willing prostitutes for the politicians. Have you ever wondered where the ‘protesters’ obtain those hundreds of professional quality signs they always have available? Or who paid for them?
The U.S. President who sympathized with the ‘demonstrators’ “understandable” reaction to the unwillingness of the Ferguson grand jury to lynch a white cop, is the Pimp in Chief. As his wont these days, he spoke from both sides of his mouth, requesting calm after approving the demonstrations.
American governance has shifted from the ancient Constitutional model to a procession of crises, polls and public Presidential speeches, followed by Presidential actions entirely disrespective of Congress, which lays supine before executive orders now taking on the appearance of edicts. This, allowed to continue, will shred the Constitution into unrecognizability. Significantly, few seem to care much. Perhaps the electorate has moved beyond such worries?
The Republicans of course, are against all of this — while they continue to vote the funds for all of it with continuing resolutions in lieu of more identifiable funding bills. No crisis is wasted, every one enhances government while the taxpayers are grateful that such a mighty force is there to save them …