Like Filipinos, Americans are also fooled by showbiztocracy
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-10-12

It is not only Filipinos who are fooled by showbiztocracy (a term your Chair Wrecker coined in 2004) but Americans as well. Although American voters are some of the best informed in the world, they too are known to succumb to the techniques of showbiztocracy.

Showbiztocracy is not just the intrusion of showbiz personalities into politics, especially national politics where they are found most wanting. In its broader sense, showbiztocracy is all about the insidious utilization of showbiz techniques in order to project the unreal as real, the untrue as true.

Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) did not come from showbiz but she is showbiztocracy personified. Her carefully crafted videos and staged appearances are showbiz stuff. Her touted ‘achievements’ demonstrate how the unreal is made to appear as real.

Republican Party vice presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is a good case in point of how many Americans are also impressed and fooled by showbiztocracy.

Though most viewers of the October 2 Veep Debate felt that Democrat Joseph Biden won it (by a margin of 51 — 36%), still the number of those who were impressed by Palin’s inanities can be quite unsettling. It is unsettling because she could become US President and will thus have the power to wage world war and nuclear war.

How voters can find someone who has been the favorite topic of jokes of US late night talk show hosts as ‘impressive’ demonstrates the shallowness of people’s discernment when it comes to choosing their leaders.

Let me share with you the following jokes that famous late night show hosts Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno have cracked about Sarah Palin (which is sourced from Daniel Kurtzman’s newsletter on Political Jokes).

“Political experts are saying that to succeed in the vice presidential debate, Sarah Palin needs to show that she has the same concerns as everyday Americans. For instance, Palin planned to start the debate by saying she’s really troubled by John McCain’s choice for vice president.” — Conan O’Brien

“Sarah Palin, she’s getting ready for tomorrow’s debate. I understand she now knows all three branches of government.” ‑ Jay Leno

”Republicans are blaming Nancy Pelosi for the bailout not going through. Democrats are blaming it on an incomplete proposal by the Republicans. John McCain is blaming Barack Obama. Barack Obama is blaming John McCain. And Sarah Palin is praying nobody asks her what’s going on.” — Jay Leno

“Hugh Hefner is entering the fray. Hugh Hefner has asked Sarah Palin to pose nude for Playboy magazine. Yeah, and Palin said she’d agree to pose for Playboy as long as there’s no interview.” — Conan O’Brien

“John McCain wants to suspend his debate with Barack Obama until the economic crisis is over. And Sarah Palin wants to suspend her debate with Joe Biden until she can find Europe on a map.” — Jay Leno

“And all this week, the McCain campaign is trying to prevent Sarah Palin from talking to reporters covering the news, you know? They said, ‘you can take her picture, but you can’t ask her any questions.’ What is she running for, vice president or ‘America’s Next Top Model’?” — Jay Leno

“Earlier today, Governor Sarah Palin held a meeting with several leaders from other countries to showcase her foreign policy expertise. That’s right, yeah. Experts say the meeting took 90 seconds.” — Conan O’Brien

Do these not remind you of the Erap jokes? We enjoyed those Erap jokes — only to wake on June 1, 1998 to the nightmare that the joke was on us. Joseph Estrada became president and our country was never the same again.

Really, when you think about it seriously, the communications teams of these candidates and the media that allow the promotion of unfit leaders should have a lot to account for when their time is up to meet their Maker. They have willfully lent their communications skills and access to people (in the case of media) to promote those who can harm their country.

They are no different from lawyers who know that their clients are murderers or plunderers and they still lend their skills to get them acquitted. The legal system may allow them to do these but when they meet their Maker they will have to account for it.

Their cop out is that it is just a job, a contracted service which is allowed by the laws of the land. They rationalize their acts on the basis of the law that allows the unfit to avail of services that can make them fool the people and win an election.

In our country, the very root of the Wealth Gap is the Information Gap. This Information Gap is what these communicators and media factors help perpetuate. They have actively promoted the exploitation of the ignorance of the masses and allowed them to be manipulated to elect the very leaders who will make life more miserable for them.

Serving the cause of unfit and/or corrupt candidates is no different from promoting melamine-laced milk over healthy pure cows’ milk. The laws of man may not be able to craft the legislation to correct the malpractice of promoting unfit candidates. But God’s justice will not fail to make the sinner account when the time comes.

In another place and time, a Propaganda Minister of a world-class tyrant committed suicide because he feared that he would be made to account for the tyranny that his communications skills promoted. I refer to Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Minister of Nazi Germany.

Germany in April 1945 was about to be overrun by the allies. The Russians were entering Berlin from the east while the Americans and the British were attacking from the west. In their Berlin bunker, hours before the fall, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels committed suicide along with their loved ones.

Joseph Goebbels did not command any fighting units in the battlefield. He did not order the genocide of the Jews and the other so-called inferior races. He merely played with concepts, images and words. But his conscience must have convinced him that he is just as accountable for the atrocities of World War II in Europe as Hitler, Himmler and those other Nazi brutes.

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