If President Obama was caught naked in the shower with Jerry Sandusky and Justin Bieber, do you know what the headlines would be in the driveby media?
The big story would be that Gov. Romney has made some insensitive or controversial gaffe, and even if what he said is factually correct in a technical way, the election is still over and Romney/Ryan are doomed.
You could burn the forest and sift the ashes and you would find nary a mention, not even a hint, that Obama was caught taking a Hollywood shower with his horseplay soap-on-a-rope squad.
Such is the bifurcated nature of reality in America for the next seven weeks. Fox News and talk radio will oft focus on issues and perspectives that Democrats have never even heard of or have only heard explained by scathing critics of the ideas. Conservatives likewise will have their eyes glaze over and will put their fingers in their ears and scream when someone starts explaining how a secret committee of a dozen billionaires worked tirelessly for years to get Romney nominated, the ultimate object of these uber-rich guys being to take away absolutely all the wealth from middle class people and ruin them.
Why do the 1% want to do that? Because they are just that mean and greedy, the story goes. It is not enough that they be rich beyond counting, they want everyone else to be dirt poor.
I've known some rich people in right-wing politics and never met anyone who actually thinks like that. They want everyone to get more prosperous and secure along with themselves and they are convinced that Republican policies will take us all there.
In the meantime, the headlines, the lead stories, and the political ads will be shrill and they will be simplistic. One of the major reasons that the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Citizens United ruling the way it did was because it has become impossible for anyone to censor and control (or even define) what may be pure free speech and what might be an information manipulation campaign funded for purely electoral purposes and thus limited by McCain/Feingold caps.
Newspaper ads are going away because newspapers are failing. Even TV ads fade in effectiveness because technology allows us to skip over the ads. Someday most persuasion is going to be done in much more subtle fashion, and by 5 to 4, the justices did not want government lawyers to be in charge of deciding which Internet site. or hit movie, or best selling book, is actually a form of campaign spending and thus subject to strict censorship via arbitrary economic limits.
After all, if a conservative media group should suddenly come up with a sit-com plot involving Obama and the others meeting regularly in the locker room, the show might be a great hit given the state of our popular culture but it would also be a form of political persuasion that gets around mainstream media operations that selectively report the news to the American public.