(Rooters agency) – Public opinion polls around the world have found almost universal approval of the decision by major news media (including Rooters) to discontinue all coverage of US presidential election campaigns.
The question “Does anyone at all care about this nonsense?” seems to have been answered with a fairly decisive “Hardly anyone.” That now famous question was raised by the pioneering media executive Herbert Bumpfeder during the plenary discussion on the US presidential campaign at the 19th biennial conference of World Mediopoly (formerly the International Media Organization).
Bumpfeder’s announcement that his media would henceforth not even mention the US campaign until the winning candidate was inaugurated almost immediately doubled his media’s ratings. Other media corporations found themselves forced by competitive realities to follow Bumpfeder’s lead.
The opinion polls have confirmed the popularity of this decision. From Afghanistan to Zanzibar, from Yemen to Argentina, the general public has breathed a massive sigh of relief.
In most countries, Global Polling (GP), which conducted the surveys, had to promise national anonymity because of local fears of retaliation from Washington. However, the least enthusiastic support for the ban was in country X, where 57% endorsed it, 14% were opposed, and 29% either didn’t know what media are or didn’t have any access to them.
“I’m sick of hearing about how many US candidates think the Earth is flat,” the comment of a shepherd in a semi-mountainous Asian country that cannot be further identified, was typical of many responses, according to GP.
“They’ve been telling us it [who wins] will make a difference for decades now,” said a camel driver somewhere in the Asian-North African region. “If US citizens want to go on kidding themselves, that’s their right, but please spare us all the associated noise and self-deception.”
In South and Central America, a frequent response was along the lines of “Do you think I really care whether the bombs the gringos drop are Republican bombs or Democrat bombs?”
GP did not conduct this poll within the United States, but a similarly worded survey was carried out by the polling organization National Opinion United States (NOUS). The US appears to be the only country in which there is not an absolute majority in favor of an end to presidential campaign news, but a plurality did endorse the decision.
In the NOUS poll, 25% of eligible US voters said they were “sick to death of the campaign now,” while 11% said they were “sick to death of the campaign a year ago.” Eighteen percent said they were made “moderately sick” by the campaign, and 8% “nauseous to some degree.”
Other responses in the NOUS poll included: the news ban is a communist-Islamic plot, 21%; election news should be available, but only when there is no sporting event on television, 19%; the Tea Party should be the next president, 13%; elections are a communist-Islamic plot, 6%; news is a communist-Islamic plot, 5%; oppose the news ban because it will make me forget the name of the president, 4%; presidents are a communist-Islamic plot, 3%. (The responses total more than 100% because some respondents gave more than one answer.)
As has been noted previously, advertisers were the main force driving other media to follow Herbert Bumpfeder’s lead. The subsequent rise in all forms of media circulation, which confirms the polls’ findings about the popularity of the decision, has, not surprisingly, been matched by an increase in advertising spending.
This is true even of both US major parties, which have upped their advertising in all media to match the increased exposure. While no one authoritative would go on record either for or against the campaign news ban, officials from both parties’ national committees said they respected the media’s decision. As one of them put it, “It’s a free country, and nobody should have to publicize anything they aren’t paid for.”