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Andy McCarthy on the Political Soap Opera

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RUSH: Here's Andy McCarthy's piece.  It's called, "Politics is Not a Soap Opera," and just a couple of excerpts here, 'cause I thought it was good. It's one of these things I've been constantly struggling for a way to explain what I mean when I say, "All of us inside the media bubble or the daily media narrative."  The problem is, "Politics is Not a Soap Opera -- The problem with the soap opera that is modern American politics is that politics is not soap opera.  

"The object of the [a soap opera] is entertainment through a daily, hokey maintenance of suspense," i.e., Crisis. The Democrat Party, every day a new crisis. "This necessarily requires the viewer's suspension of disbelief, particularly when it comes to the lead characters. Depending on what improbable twists and turns the plot must take to meet the demands of day-in-day-out drama, the stars of the show slip seamlessly from villain's to hero's role, from incorrigible vice to transcendent virtue.

"Soap fans buy in because they know it is not real. It is, to the contrary, their escape from reality.  Politics is our reality. It only seems like soap opera because of the way it is covered: Right into your living room, day-in-day-out, celebrity journalists present the adventures of their fellow dramatis personae, celebrity pols. The journalists portray politics, moreover, as suspense," the daily horse race. How's Obama doing? It's not whether Obamacare's decent, not whether it's harmful, not whether it's constitutional.
But is Obama gonna be helped or is Obama going to be hurt? 

"The journalists portray politics, moreover, as suspense and not just such suspense as the news of the day may warrant by dint of its relative seriousness -- an earthquake, the outbreak of a war, or the specter of millions losing health-insurance plans they were promised they could keep. The continuing suspense lies in the practice of politics.  A little more than 15 minutes ago, there were only three major networks and a handful of prominent national newspapers. The focus of this limited news-media universe was the events themselves.  Not anymore.

"With a plethora of news sources, with limitless space and hours of airtime to fill, events are now more like episodes of a long-running drama. Politics is the glue that holds the plot together. No longer is the story that millions of people are losing health insurance that President Obama guaranteed they would be able to keep. For the mainstream press, it is about how cleverly Obama can rationalize his lies, how adroitly can he revise what he's previously said, how deftly can he turn the page ... shifting the audience's attention to the next episode -- maybe immigration, maybe Iran, maybe the debt ceiling."

The first rule of the soap opera is Drama = Conflict, and that explains why Obama and his media constantly play it up.

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RUSH: Andy McCarthy is really right.  If I might add to his point here. It's almost as if the news, especially that coming from the Regime, from the White House, it's just seen as entertainment for the media and the elites.  This has been one of these lingering things in my -- not the subconscious.  But it's been there. I haven't been able to put words to it.  But they're entertained by all this. 

They have no appreciation whatsoever that what this administration does actually affects people in their real lives.  A soap opera doesn't.  You turn it on, you turn it off, you might live vicariously through it, but the show ends at some point, and it's never real.  Yet this is.  And yet it's not covered that way.  The Drive-Bys are entertained.  They love Clinton, they love Obama, especially when they smoke us, when they smoke conservatives.  It's a game.  It's the way they keep themselves entertained and jazzed.  When you hear them say they love it, it's no different than when you hear somebody talk about how they love their favorite television show.  And you can see that in the way the media cover Obama, particularly Obama.
It was bad for Clinton, too, but this is unlike anything I've ever seen in the media, in my lifetime.  They applaud Obama's clever plot twists, the plot devices that Obama uses, the continuing suspense, the drama.  Hell, they even attach drama to the next press conference.  They attach drama, everybody on the edges of their seats.  And they're so caught up in it, the Drive-Bys, 'cause they agree with it, by the way, that they are not aware that what Obama actually does affects people in their real lives, and those real lives are hurting.  Those real lives are being adversely affected in profound ways, and they are unaware or uncaring about it.  It's not part of the equation.  And we're seeing this in spades in the way Obamacare is covered. 

It's covered: "Will the website get fixed in time?  Will the White House be able to fix this website and keep the audience tuned in?  Will the White House be able to get it working to 80%?"  All of this, if you put the daily news narrative, and if you just imagine that you're watching a soap opera, it changes your perspective on it entirely.  I thought it was a good piece.  Again, it's called "Politics is Not a Soap Opera," and it was Saturday in the National Review Online.

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RUSH: The news concern right now -- in fact I was sitting here, I've got all my TV monitors on but I don't have the audio on because I don't want to listen to it, to be honest with you.  I really don't want to listen to it.  But I've got the closed-captioning on. 

So I'm reading that Obama's announcing brand-new benefits with Obamacare today, and he's gonna be really stoking it and firing it up, and it's the same thing.  So the news treatment of this announcement from the White House that Obama's gonna be out there with this new offensive on Obamacare, the news concern of the moment is: Will Obama be able to fool the public again even after having been caught so many times?  Stay tuned for Fox News special report tonight at six, or whatever the show is.  Will Obama fool the public again?  Will he be able to make it work this time?  And it is.  It's fascinating to look at it in that perspective.

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RUSH: So here's Jay Carney. This is just moments ago at the White House, daily press briefing, a question from a correspondent from NPR, Mara Liasson: "This is a crucial period, you've lost a lot of time, you have till December 23rd, if people need it by January 1st. Should we expect to see the president frequently talking about health care?" 

Now, remember, it's already been announced that he's gonna be doing that, starting about 22 minutes from now.  Every day from now through December 23rd, Obama's gonna be out there touting it.  She's asking, "Are we gonna be hearing about the president every day here, Jay?  What have you planned for him in these weeks, which is kind of a crucial period?" What's actually on tap?

CARNEY:  If I told you now, it wouldn't be a surprise when it happened, Mara.  We're gonna be engaged, the president's gonna be engaged.  He's kicking it off today.  I would point you to his remarks.  I've given you a little bit of preview of some of the things we're gonna be talking about and focusing on.  We plan to use a number of different venues to push this message to the public, including press events, digital media.

RUSH:  Yeah, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise when it happens, so we've gotta keep the suspense going because as my buddy Andy McCarthy wrote, this is nothing but a soap opera, the way it gets covered.  "This is a real thing, is Obama gonna be out touting it?"  I'm not gonna tell you. The president's gonna be out here.  But it's already been reported what the president's gonna say.  And nobody has denied it. 

By the way, Carney still will not say whether Obama has signed up for Obamacare yet.  There's a Politico story said that Obama has, or that Obama's going to.  But Carney will not say whether Obama has signed up for Obamacare yet and put his own security at risk, his own privacy, his secure data and so forth.  Six years ago Obama promised that he'd be leading the charge, that he'd be signing up for it.  But he hasn't to date. 

Also notice that December 23rd deadline, these insurance companies are gonna have one lousy week, Christmas week, to get everything up and going by the January 1st deadline.  They can't.  This just can't work.  It's falling apart.  It's in deeper trouble than anybody wants to admit.  And the Regime's solution to this is to just say it's working, we got it fixed, it's up and running. And now the president is gonna be out there touting the benefits all over again. 

Jay Carney at this press briefing, he also told reporters -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- not to worry.  Nothing to worry about here, that one-third of the people signing up haven't actually gotten insurance, because so few people have actually enrolled.
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RUSH: Now, I'm not making this up.  The White House put out news today, the Regime put out news that if you think you've signed up, don't trust it.  Call the insurance company and make sure.  This is after you've gone to HealthCare.gov, after you've signed up, after you've filled out the forms, after you've been told that you're enrolled, the Regime is still telling you to call the insurance company and make sure. 

And Carney today said there's no reason to worry about this.  I think the number is 30, 35% of the people who've signed up have not actually been enrolled.  Thirty to 35% of the people who think they have insurance don't have it.  And Carney said (paraphrasing), "No reason to worry about that, because so few people have actually enrolled. 

We're not talking about a lot of people."  I kid you not.  On the one hand they're trying to make it look like there's a demand for this thing that they can't control, that people are so eager and so excited, and so happy to be able to go to HealthCare.gov and get their health care that it's one of the reasons the site plunged, right, because there's all this demand.

And then Carney today says, "Don't worry about the fact that 35% of the people think they have insurance don't, 'cause it's such a small number of people who have actually enrolled."  It makes you wonder why people didn't just deal directly with insurance companies from the start and cut out the Obamacare middleman to begin with.  It only screwed things up.  I mean, it is so absurd, you go to the HealthCare.gov and then get directed to an insurance company, except you better call 'em and make sure that you're actually enrolled.

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