“Walking to school, on a day that was sunny/nearing the library, trying to study/when what to my wondering eyes does appear/but red white and blue, and CNN gear.” – ‘Twas The Night Before Voting
CNN set up camp next to NYU and CMJ with it’s “League of First Time Voters” mobile something-or-other, come to inspire new students to actually vote. First of all, I’m confused why a television network, with it’s presumption of ‘objectivity’ would take it upon itself to actively promote what about half of America chooses not to do – that is, vote. Second, the whole spectacle looked like an orchestrated pander to college-age folks, with edgy, stylized lettering and a “graffiti wall” where students could “express themselves.”
It also shows the basic format of political expression and corporate control – feel free to express yourself (on THIS wall), but make sure to express yourself, or else you’re not a real American. It’s a co-option of certain types of ‘expression’ as political resistance – but it also meant we got free buttons. CNN’s investment in this type of outreach shows the investment America’s corporate-political elite in voting, as well as the real potential of voter-abstention as a form of resistance.