This news junkie loves silly season

By John Toth

This years political races should go down in modern history as one of the weirdest mid-term elections.

First, the rules have changed so that the rich, corporations and overseas concerns can spend unlimited amount of funds to try to buy a candidate, while your contributions and mine have to be accurately reported under the threat of criminal penalties.

We’ll see how our democracy holds up under these new financial rules, but one industry is loving it. Television stations and networks must be swimming in money spent to promote or oppose a candidate.

They are raking it in more than the print media, but they always have. Print has a taken a back seat to campaign advertising in major markets.

Print has the disadvantage of not being able to relay a message through an obnoxious voice-over. The best we can do is “photoshop” horns on the guy, but that would be extreme.

This is the last issue before voters go to the polls on Nov. 2, and it looks like all of our local candidates kept their races sane and civil. No one has had to deny being a witch (not that any would be). They have not tried to rewrite the Constitution or tried to get votes by harping on gay marriage. I have not heard them talk about returning to the days of segregation.

Even if a candidate would think any of the above, it’s really best not to say it in public, especially the witch and segregation themes. They tend not to play too well among the half-way intelligent crowd.

The above examples are part of a short list of craziness trumpeted by the national media. In many instances, the far-out comments made by some politicians and the reporting of them have overshadowed real issues like jobs and economic recovery.

Being a news junkie, I have enjoyed this national sparring between conservatives and progressives; candidates and incumbents. I eat this stuff up because I have been in the news and publishing business for 32 years.

It’s pure entertainment to me. I watch MSNBC and Fox News at the same time and argue with myself. I cut myself off and tell myself to shut up. One time I got so mad that I walked out on myself.

It’s the silly season, and it all ends in a few days. I’m going to miss it – until 2012. This is the ultimate reality show, folks, and it goes on for a long time. Instead of watching gladiators at the coliseum, we watch politicians on TV. After all, we are civilized.

I wish the best to all of the local candidates. I’ve been there, done that, and it is not easy. As far as the national scene is concerned, thanks for the great nightly entertainment.

See you at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 2.