The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Vot­ers must won­der if the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial de­bates are en­ter­tain­ment or a sports match. Over­come with rat­ings lust, the pushy broad­cast me­dia has pack­aged the de­bates as brash com­bat, com­plete with whirling graph­ics and mon­u­men­tal sets. Moder­a­tors have taken lib­er­ties with can­di­dates and con­tent. Now comes the push­back from out­sider can­di­dates like Ben Car­son.

“When will politi­cians en­tirely fire the me­dia? We can thank Car­son and fel­low po­lit­i­cal out­sider Don­ald Trump for in­cul­cat­ing their fel­low Repub­li­cans on how the me­dia ac­tu­ally works circa 2015,” says Si­mon Du­menco, an Ad Age colum­nist, who notes that the di­min­ish­ing cul­tural power of the TV net­works al­lows the pair to es­sen­tially write their own nar­ra­tives.

“As self-made phe­nom­ena who have left po­lit­i­cal pun­dits both be­wil­dered and agog, they feel like they can pro­ceed with­out play­ing ball with the me­dia, thank you very much,” Mr. Du­menco con­cludes, “Trump and Car­son are, at the mo­ment, act­ing like con­tent mar­keters, se­cure in the pre­sump­tion that if they just keep on en­ter­tain­ing the elec­torate, jour­nal­ists will have no choice but con­tinue to show up and du­ti­fully take dic­ta­tion.”

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