Politics

Taiwanese animation, Christine O’Donnell, U.S. media, and an old joke.

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As noted here before, Taiwanese animation is the future of news. This week, Republican Senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell gets the animation treatment and is explained to the domestic China/Taiwan audience by the Taiwan NMA News Network:


In addition to the entertainment value, perhaps there is something we can learn about ourselves from these animated NMA episodes. We know NMA does not have a news staff on the ground. The animations are simply a humorous distillation of US media coverage on a particular story. To some extent, NMA is holding up a mirror to the US media, permitting us a peek at the perspective of an outsider digesting our media buffet. US stories selected by NMA for animation get the treatment because the stories have achieved some sort of critical mass in US coverage, and there is enough media grist for the animation mill.

This begs the question asked by Chris Cillizza: Why does Christine O’Donnell get so much coverage and attention from the media and Democrats?:

“Tonight’s Delaware Senate debate between marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell (R) and New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) will be carried live on CNN and co-moderated by the network’s lead anchor Wolf Blitzer. Judging from that treatment, a casual viewer might conclude that the race for Vice President Joe Biden’s old seat is among the most competitive in the country. That, of course, would be wrong. Way wrong…

it is important to keep O’Donnell in context. She is a decided long shot to even come close to being competitive in Delaware, and there are at least 15 Senate races that are closer, according to public polling, at the moment. Covering her is one thing. Covering her as though her race will decide the fate of the Senate is quite another.”

Christine O’Donnell is a clown of a Senate candidate who is going to lose by a large margin to a Democratic opponent in a Democratic state for the seat vacated by Democratic Vice President Joe Biden (to whom she already lost before). The Senate contest does not even make Nate Silver’s top 10 list of Senate Seats vulnerable to switching parties. Her debate performance was laughable and did not help.

We know why NMA selected her for this treatment. It is because watching our media, NMA determined she must be a big story. The real question – Why is she such a big story here? Why is she getting so much new and old media attention that she pops up on the NMA meme radarscope?

Dave Weigel takes a crack at explaining this phenomena:

“I noted in August that Democratic dreams of Tea Partiers handing them the election were overblown; that in a wave year, even deeply flawed candidates can win. Nothing’s happened to change my mind. Scan the House races and you’ll find dozens of cases where Republican candidates appear to have hobbled themselves — a sexual harassment case, on-the-record quotes about dismantling Social Security — but are in strong contention anyway. I think the fact that Paladino and Christine O’Donnell won their primaries the same day, the very last primary day of the cycle,* has revved up a flawed storyline about “crazy” Tea Partiers blowing the election. So the focus on Paladino and O’Donnell is completely out of whack. If the DCCC is a general on a battlefield, it is distracting attention from the army headed straight for it by pointing out that two of the new recruits are holding their crossbows wrong.”

Which reminds me of an old joke (modified to suit our purpose here):

A despondent Democrat was crawling about on the sidewalk under a lamppost at night.

A Police Officer came up to him and inquired, “What are you doing?”

The depressed Democrat replied, “I’m looking for my car keys of hope.”

The Officer looked around in the lamplight, then asked the Dem, “I don’t see any car keys. Are you sure you lost them here?”

The Democrat replied, “No, I lost them over there”, and pointed to an area of the sidewalk deep in shadow.

The policeman then asked, “Well, if you lost them over there, why are you looking over here?”

The despondent Democrat looked at him and said, “Because the light is better over here.”

x-posted from Divided We Stand United We Fall.