Fox Debate With Google Creates A Miasma Of False Realities

The Fox Republican Debate tonight is a preview of how corporatist promotion and demotic manipulation will seek to function as poltico-entertainment. That Google is presented as co-sponsor and determinant of public data “trends” while on the verge of Federal investigation? Unremarkable.

“Running Man” in the 1980s already skirted the line between description and satire. Now we see the functional integration play out.

The pre-baked false structural narrative cascades upon a viewer, an ersatz unreality created by News Corp, which is both mouthpiece and stage director for our current oligarchy. For many viewers that narrative’s very predictability a greater and more important comfort than disorganized surprise.

News Corp stepped up its game tonight by deploying a corporatist ally, Google. A corporate co-sponsor of a presidential debate? A general yawn. Everything is a brand. The surprise is that Air Force One isn’t sponsored. And on one level, the partnership simply provides a patina of techno-hipsterism for ratings.

On a deeper level, Google’s choice is more strategic. Google, facing several potential legal challenges, benefits by the publicity and demonstration of its power to impact electoral politics. Google served up to Fox and the viewer data samples from a (sometimes pre-screened), shapeless, inchoate jello of American random thinking. These factoids, drawn from uncertain samplings with unknown demographics, are imposed on both viewer and mannequin candidates alike. Thus the spectacle’s creators expose both the mannequins and viewers’ marginal role. Both are acted on. The essential achievement and focus are factoids ratifying and verifying the alternate, pre-fabricated narrative.

For the stage mannequins their challenge was and will be how to improvise within the script and constraints of role. How to get the right bon mot adhering to the fluid, concocted structural bounds? The viewer, the mark or “consumer” in this production, on some level senses the mannequins’ discomfort. And the disconnect between their alleged starring role and actual status. This insight provides essential comfort to the “consumer”. They sense they are not entirely alone in the production. And their status closer to the mannequins than outside, objective forms indicate.

Nothing we saw tonight changed either the pre-arranged narrative or the mannequins’ internal rankings. What did you see on screen?


  1. jwb says

    @Comment Second time might be farce, but it won’t play that way on TV, and since TV is still the ideological engine of our society, we’ll be seeing a rerun. Perhaps TV will be forced to lie egregiously enough to break the engine, but that’s about as much hope as I can see; and even with that the power of the engine will wind down slowly.

  2. Comment says

    Well there’s gonna be problems taking care of sick soldiers – last time this happened with Gulf War syndrome (190,000 on disability – an that effer calls it a cakewalk), AEI spent millions
    of dollars calling the vets liars.

    These infernal chickenhawks at AEI even pimp out doctors to say vets were all full of sh** and that Gulf War Syndrome was all caused by effeminate television shows or some such crap.

    So we know the coming pattern – but second time is fARCE.

  3. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Comment One wonders how the collective bubble-indulging American consumerist collective guilt over a trebly mercenary army waging wars coming home in defeat will be manipulated by the alpha male cult of virility, whether in the narrow political industrial scramble for resources or broader societal manipulation. There’s political C4 lying there waiting for the right blasting cap.

  4. Comment says

    As one of many errors he makes “the head rules the belly thru the chest” was from Plato, not CS Lewis.

    But then again Plato might get booed at a GOP debate.

  5. Comment says

    Just a super funny grace note is that the writer is part of something called Cardinal Mindszenty foundation –

    Mindszenty was tortured with all the so-called soft torture techniques and this caused him to renounce himself to the communists – A classic cold war moment.

    Yet, this chap just has no clue that he celebrates the same thing now because he is so filled with emotionalism that is the root of his masculine freak out.

  6. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Comment Great piece. Pop references dated slightly. The essay’s irrationality reactionary on so many levels besides the obvious gender/patriarchical axis as you note.

    It’s funny, but also worth remembering that such hyper stylized celebrations of irrational masculinity almost always accompanies Counter Enlightenment and anti-democratic Movements. Thus the booing of a warrior who betrays narrative by openly admitting homosexuality. Implicit in the narrative is hierarchy and surrender of rational faculty for obedience to place. Facts, independent deliberation, analysis – all are consigned to the corrosive feminine.

    It’s a seductive message and appeals across traditional, familiar political interest group classifications. There are more than a few ostensibly anti-Rightists who would gather in 2000-2001 and glory in “Gladiator,” first tapping each other at cocktail gatherings greeting “Strength and honor!”

    These loopy, irrational pastiches help elicit that celebration of the irrational. A post-oligarchical American Putin will ride such trope from all sides of the political spectrum. Not yet. And not for certain.

    A place for every man and every man in his place.

  7. Dr Leo Strauss says

    Was on the periphery of the Lew Lehrman/Grover initiatives to remake Savimbi into a freedom fighter with Lehrman et al. presenting Savimbi a copy of the Constitution. Didn’t actively take part.

    Around that time in parallel worked hard to transform a bunch of wealthy, lazy and obnoxious Nicaraguan ex pats lounging around Miami swimming pools into freedom fighters. The Movement community was smaller.

    As mentioned iirc in another thread, over a massive dose of adult beverages, we recall someone pushing the ingenious idea to translate Thomas Paine into Spanish. And to re-make Rambo II posters with Spanish slogans. They really thought it was Important. When Central America ceased to be the Place To Be, at one later point, there was a plan to shove Paine into Polish, etc.

    Many of those same people were intimately involved with CPA in Iraq and subsequently Kurdish/Hitchian Jeffersonian makeovers. Their moves didn’t change much over the years, adding new things like focus groups to the old song and dance.

    All instant black comedy material. But when McCain starting purging people and installing his team in certain institutions it was the first sign of his higher ambitions.

  8. Comment says

    Savimbi must of drawn suspicion at the 1985 CPAC when he filled his hotub with red wine and invited all the fat ladies to take a long hot bath.

  9. RedPhillip says

    @DrLeoStrauss This got me disturbing my neighbors this afternoon, with the merry lulz in the comment. Sadly, here at The Home [as I call it] belly laughs are unusual and disruptive.

    Would you not have had some experience in the wings (at least) of that sordid affair the Movement conducted/conducts with Savimbi? I seem to remember UNITA being touted as an avatar of The Founding Fathers or some such messy historical slashfic.

  10. Comment says

    LOL – Cannibalism jokes are always apposite – As Jonas takes a bit out of a Christie drumstick, throwing the gnarled shanks of fried Ann Coulter to his pet Beagle.

  11. DrLeoStrauss says

    @Comment Christie meeting Savimbi – an initial declaration that Savimbi should fire the ‘free loading’ UNITA political commissars and death squad enforcers and allow wealth creating Angolan supporters to go to the market for more efficient Cuban ‘volunteers.’

    Meanwhile Savimbi’s chef eyes the governor with discerning eyes and subtly shakes no. He realizes high fatty proteins would cause havoc with Savimbi’s new macro-biotic diet announced ahead of the Spring Offensive.

    Held back at the holding area, Ann Coulter can’t understand why nobody is even looking at her.

  12. Comment says

    Christie cannot win – America wan’ts a solid family man, not a marbled family man. No doubt Jonas Savimbi would love to have Christie over for dinner providing he bathed himself in salt and pepper beforehand.

  13. jwb says

    You obviously know these voters better than I do, but when I listen to what Perry says, think about the positions he stakes out, look at where he decides to hold his ground and where he decides to walk statements back, it does not seem to me that he is running primarily for the nomination. Obviously, if the nomination happens to fall his way, he will take it, but getting the nomination does not appear to me to be his prime directive. I would interpret his assigned role as blocker.

    The twittermachine was chirping about Christie again, which I find odd since he appears to offer little that is not already on the table. The chatter represents discontent about Romney, certainly, but I see no obvious assets that are not offset by by greater liabilities.

  14. DrLeoStrauss says

    Have to say that some of today’s Rightist punditry harshing on Perry’s performance interesting (excepting Neocon critiques which are of marginal impact). His immigration misstep rippling today, although his Florida CPAC speech indicates his path to repair the breach.

    The MSNBC talking heads are embracing a Romney resurgence. Recall that in 1984 a far more weak debating performance by RWR had Democrats celebrating Mondale’s inevitable November victory, dispelled at the next debate with the simple joke “I will not take advantage of my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

  15. Comment says

    If you watch the debate w/ sound off Perry won, according to someone I trust. Visual image is more important than words.
    MSNBC is kidding themselves. They worry about Perry they way neocons on Fox fret about Ron Paul.

  16. cabbie @ 69th street bridge says

    very apt movie reference I just watched that one a few weeks ago and was shocked at how much Killian had become reality. But today the Movement would never accept evidence they had been lied to about the Bakersfield massacre, they’d just call it a libural/ socialist plot (probably started by ACORN) to discredit the job creators. “They Live” is another gem from the era. Can an “Escape from NY” scenario be too far fetched? I’m sure the liberty and limited government luvin’ Movement types would support it just as long as the “right” people were jailed.

  17. Dr Leo Strauss says

    MSNBCers and loosely affiliated talking heads are ore working hard to rehabilitate Romney as ‘the clear winner. As all of them are outside the narrative and intended ‘consumers’ such judgments may be of little determinative value. At least to date.

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