US election coverage is out of control

Roger Kelly writes: Re. “Rundle: at the democratic heart, we wait for common sense” (yesterday). Guys — and I cringe as I write this; I know what you’ll say — but I feel that the presence of the USA in all media has gotten quite out of proportion, insidiously and without any seeming question.

North America is important to us for a bunch of inarguable reasons, but seriously, when has someone looked at the amount of US reporting that we are persistently, daily, subjected to in a country that is still (apparently) struggling with its own global identity, there has to be at least a fair minded regard from somewhere.

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At what point does our implied (constructed cultural cringe) inferiority get considered as a self fulfilling prophesy, absolutely driven by the ubiquitous presence in the media, of so much that is from one country? Tuesday night’s ABC news gave the Melbourne Cup half the time it gave to the US election, that we have been hearing of since before the campaigning began — over a year!

News-wise perhaps we are a boring lot, but there are so many countries out there, with SO much shit happening.

My question is one of degree. I do want to know what’s happening in America but it’s overwhelming to the point that “is there some kind of pressure from the US to make it so” is no longer an unreasonable question. There is after all, much to be gained from a US-friendly Australian population. Their effect here has gained momentum, to the point that we are making very little noise about troop presence on bases in our country. Our economic pulse is Wall Street driven. For themselves, the Americans find us colloquial and only significant where there is gain involved.

Do they give a week’s reporting on one of our cyclones? Did WE report on the greater number of casualties in the Bahamas? When did we all normalise (no “z”) our acceptance of this?

I’m not crazy; I’ve been meaning to speak up for years, but I can’t tell if I’m right any more.

Is it just me? Is this so much of a no-go-area that this proposition is beyond a good journalistic investigation? The size of this profile could not have happened without the media.

Niall Clugston writes: Yes, the most of the rest of the world wanted Obama to win. But then they don’t have to live there. For so many foreign observers, mostly notably the Nobel Prize committee, it’s all about the symbolism: the reality doesn’t matter, certainly not domestic reality.

Your editorial (yesterday) acknowledges the economic problems but describes this as Obama being “handed … a shit sandwich” or dealt a “difficult hand”. Sure, he ran for president spouting rhetoric about the “audacity of hope”, but apparently it’s too much to expect him to deal with a real crisis!

And, OK, Romney might be worse, but do we really need to pick sides in that dysfunctional political system?

Aunty Annabel

Malcolm Condie writes: Re. “Tips and Rumours” (Tuesday). You asked for commentary on Annabel Crabb’s piece for Foreign Correspondent on Tuesday night … enjoyed it very much. How apt that ABC also stands for Anna Bel Crabb.

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