Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Alec MacGillis, speaking for his fellow journalists, explains why the press is feeding us nothing but Romney's spin now:
... we are not driven by politics or ideology, really. Above all, we love a good story.... We crave narrative. And let's face it, the narrative of the 2012 campaign was a real dud. Incumbent president faces tough reelection environment but manages to hold onto slim, steady lead thanks to a just-enough recovery and a singularly uninspiring challenger....

But then: our mile-high salvation! Denver, O Denver. As the dynamic of the first debate began to register just a few minutes in ... we sang our relief across the Twitterverse.... we had our story.

... We will not let it go. It doesn't matter if we have failed in achieving many of the basics of campaign coverage, like getting a candidate to cough up a critical mass of tax returns, release his bundler list, and account for his proposals and position shifts with a minimum of detail and coherence. No, we have our trajectory. And dammit, we're sticking to it.
But the press had a story. It's a great, multi-threaded story, really, even though nobody in the press thinks it is. It's a story the press could have been telling us for years, but never wanted to bother: the story of a major American political party going absolutely stark raving mad, while having the power and persuasive ability to potentially take the country with it. It's a party that flirted with nominating barking lunatics such as Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum before settling on a guy who was able to mollify supporters of those lunatics by faking (or imbibing) madness himself, by being a pathological liar, and by spending millions of dollars -- because this party is crazy about the rich, and has persuaded much of the country to want to coddle the rich even after the rich nearly destroyed the world.

The party lurches from superstitious belief to superstitious belief (in the phoniness of climate change, in the existence of massive Democratic voter fraud, in the imminence of sharia law in the U.S., tin he socialist/Muslim leanings of the centrist Christian in the White House, and so on). The rich guy at its head flirted with some of those beliefs and gave aid and comfort to firm believers in them.

If the party were a celebrity or a historical figure, it would be Charlie Sheen or Caligula, and everyone would want to tell the story. But nobody wants to tell this story. Nobody wants to write that the GOP is insane. Nobody wants to write that a great country can't survive with crazy zillionaires selling conspiracy theories to angry white people via 24/7 media, just so they can get somewhat lower tax rates.

The story is there, guys. It wasn't good enough for you, I guess.


Raenelle said...

I don't believe them. They say they're lying because the story is better, but of course they've already admitted they're making shit up. Better story??!!! Puleeze. Their employers are fabulously rich. Most of the screen personalities are somewhat rich. They're lying because they want Romney to win. Full stop.

Victor said...

You can't tell the world that The Emperors have no clothes, while you're fellating them, and your hands are busy fuster clucking the other "reporters" around you.

barent said...

They are co-opted by the same corporate puppet-masters as the crazies, though. They know said crazies will be sicced on them if they dare expose it. "We'll let you appear objective by saying Both Sides Do It, but step out of line and you'll be doing local news in Bayonne."

Diane said...

They like to tell easy stories, not stories that would require "work" or "research" or a perspective covering more than the past few weeks.

Jeremy said...

Closely related story that so-called news professionals likewise refuse to tell: the fact that here in the land of the free and home of the brave we have a full-fledged propaganda machine masquerading as a news outlet. You would think that people who pride themselves on their journalistic capacities would be besides themselves with justifiable indignation that there exists a full-scale media outlet that exists merely to produce propaganda. You would think they would report the hell out of this story. But, also, not good enough for them, somehow.

Rob said...

Don't worry Steve, the story will be there for future election cycles.

Right wing insanity isn't going anywhere.

But the question remains...will any "journalist" or news outlet ever dare to report the story that's hiding in plain sight.

Czarzhan said...

Should Obama be reelected, the "indignation" and insanity will continue to grow, with the GOP blocking any government progress they can, or if too many Republican seats are lost in Congress and the Dems control both the House and Senate, through more extreme actions.

Eventually, a critical mass will be reached, and the party will be torn apart from within by various wingnut factions. It's credibility will be destroyed, and it will cease to have relevance on the national stage.

The only question is how much damage the GOP consuming itself will cause. It could be as simple as a massive PR disaster along the lines of what happened to McCarthyism (being called out in public about what they're doing, and causing the country to "wake up"), or as drastic as a major insurrection.

I'm not looking forward to finding out, as it spells a dark time ahead. But it could be worse: If Mitt is elected, things will not reach a breaking point nearly so quickly, but that will just allow people to adjust to the bad times, and we will have to fall so much farther before we reach the point where we bounce back.