The press coverage of the democratic presidential race has descended to one of those circles of hell wherein greedy appetites and exaggerated punishments exist side by side and without end. Did Barack Obama “snub” Hillary Clinton by turning his back on the New York senator as she sought to shake his hand at the State of the Union address on capitol hill? Who knows? What seems clear is that the Balkanization of identity politics has been a profitable story, particularly for the TV broadcasters, and that in turn, substantive issues are not discussed.
I continue to yearn for a dis-modern America where each of us is liberated from the symbolic and semiotic categorizations of the past. When individuals are reduced to symbolism there’s a very real chance that the hoary heads of discrimination and bigotry are doing most of the talking.
None of the reporters in the MSNBC or CNN crowds would easily admit to partaking in glib and discriminatory rhetoric. Yet the reduction of Barack Obama to a mere representation as “the black candidate” or the similar categorization of Senator Clinton according to her gender represents the most clay footed and witless symbolic obfuscation we’ve seen in this country since the reign of Lee Atwater.
I can’t say which I dislike more: the reduction of two fine candidates to racial or gendered inferiority or the money making feeding frenzy that this phony story has created in the media.