If you’ve subjected yourself to television in the United States within the last several months, you already know this. But it bears quoting, if only to create a record of the hurtling, heedless decline of this market-totalitarian society. From Advertising Age for November 1, 2010:
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Another election cycle, another year of bitter partisan bickering [ed: exclusively over cynical claims and phony distinctions], another record-breaking mountain of cash spent on political advertising — all of which add up to tight inventory for local TV affiliates. According to Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, ad spending this season will top $3 billion. Borrell Associates has predicted spending will get as high as $4.2 billion this year.
We’ve come to expect steadily increasing ad outlays in political election cycles, but this year is different.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Evan Tracey, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
Aside from issues of anti-incumbency fervor and Tea Party madness, “the big difference in this election is the Citizens United impact,” he said, but not necessarily because major corporations are funneling more cash into the system. Rather, last spring’s Supreme Court ruling that upended many of the former restrictions on political advertising has given political ad groups more time to spend, and increased fundraising firepower.
Gone are the rules barring such advertising 60 days out from an election, meaning two full months of more spending for [groups with huge amounts of cash].
Here is another example of why ceding the mass media environment to “the private sector” is poison to democracy and society. How much do national and local media outlets love this trend? As “the electoral process” asymptotically approaches complete decline into Coke versus Pepsi land, as welfare-state-hating candibot Tweedledum attacks ashamed, pseudo-liberal candibot Tweedledee for cutting Medicare while candibot Tweedledee is busy crowing about giving “entrepreneurs” more tax cuts, and as real problems become ever more undiscussable, both the cash register and the wall of sponsored hooey ring louder and louder.
Orwell and Huxley would be out of work these days. Dystopian fiction has little left to invent.