Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Why do news organizations continue to broadcast idiotic man-on-the-street opinions?

An L.A. Times story that ran today, "In the rural religious South, Mitt Romney just doesn't connect," features man-on-the-street opinions about President Obama and the GOP frontrunner that do little to demonstrate anything other than ignorance -- or, of you want to see it another way, the failure of the American educational system, or the success of Fox News and the Republican party in poisoning the minds of ordinary people, or just simple prejudice and ignorance. Oh, wait, I said ignorance.

"I got no use for Obama, and it's not because of the color of his skin," said Leldon Thomas, a retired truck repairman chewing tobacco outside the Wal-Mart that locals blame for siphoning business from the long-established stores along Oneonta's ramshackle main street. "It's his socialist government and all the money he's throwing away."

Around here, Obama, who is Christian, is seen by many as Muslim, and not everyone believes he was born in Hawaii. "It's not that he's black," said Don Tielking, who has been cutting hair at the local barber shop for more than 40 years. "It's that he's not an American citizen."

For Tielking, who took a seat in his barber's chair to chat during a lull between customers, the problem with Romney is his Mormon faith, although he would gladly overlook it if he had to pick between him and Obama.

"Christ is the head of my church, and his was some Smith guy who claimed to be a latter-day prophet," said Tielking, referring to Joseph Smith Jr., the 19th century founder of the Latter-day Saints movement. "I'm not prejudiced against a Mormon. It's just some of their beliefs that I'm against."

Now let's assume that the reporter couldn't find anyone to interview who was more informed or educated than those two crackers. What purpose is served by a national newspaper running these quotations? What are we supposed to do with that mind-aching stupidity? The only possible reaction is: "Oh, hey -- looks like Romney has quite a job for himself in the coming weeks! Of course they hate Obama, but look, they're just as stupid about Romney. Now I see why Santorum is getting votes. God almighty."

But my favorite is this lady:

Sara Holloway, who recently retired as business manager at a nursing home, likes Santorum but might vote for Romney in Alabama's primary. "I like the fact that he was a businessman," she said as she left a hair salon in Oneonta. "That's what government is. It's a business, and he's been very successful."

That's what government is! It's a business! And corporations are people. Jesus Christ, is there any hope for this fucking country?

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