Turn on the TV cable news or glance at the homepage of The Times tonight and what do you get? Not the collateral damage of murdered children in Afghanistan. Not the growing crisis of widespread unemployment. Not the Congressional challenge by Dennis Kucinich over the right of the president to wage war in Libya.
Here is what passes for news today, this week, next month. Only the faces will change. Because it's all about the personalities of the lunatic fringe political sweepstakes, and everybody is covering this crap. Somebody who we all thought went away suddenly buys a million dollar house in Arizona and takes a motorcycle ride and goes on a bus tour and has pizza with Donald Trump. So she is obviously running for president, according to Beltway media insiders whose job is to deflect our attention away from serious issues that might be hurting us.
|The Wonderful World of Journalistic Make-Believe|
From The Times: "An aide to Mr. Trump said Ms. Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, had sought the meeting, having 'reached out' that morning. Ms. Palin has generated more buzz about a possible presidential bid with the start of her road trip on Sunday — she has visited Gettysburg and the Liberty Bell — did not reveal why she wanted to pay a call on Mr. Trump and his wife, Melania. His own flirtation with a Republican presidential campaign ended last month amid speculation it was all intended to jolt his business interests."
Doesn't take much to generate buzz in their busy little brains, does it? What are they thinking? Better yet, what are they drinking? I think I must be missing something, not to be experiencing that elusive Buzz.
And here is how annoying White House correspondent Chuckles Todd put it in the lead item on NBC's "First Read" email this morning: "Over the next 10 months, the race for the Republican nomination will become the chief political story in America, and that will affect the contours of the general election. We even started seeing it yesterday, with Palin, Pawlenty, and Bachmann taking center stage. 'The Democratic ‘race’ is more akin to watching a single athlete run a marathon,' says Democratic strategist Jano Cabrera."
In the shallow world of Washington journalism, the race is the thing. Who is tweeting what? What conservative bad boy hacked a congressman's Twitter account to insert a naughty pic? Why is Sarah being so coy and hard to get? Why do they care, why do they think anybody cares?
Of course, the conventional wisdom is that Obama, the cool adult front-man of the Oligarchy, is an obvious shoo-in. He is so comfortable, in fact, that he just hired a new White House attack dog to tamp down the disaffected base of progressive idealogues. The job has been given to DNC operative Jesse Lee, whose new title is "Director of Progressive Media & Online Response". He will be responsible for blogosphere PR , as well as squashing any negative stories.
The position is being criticized by both the Left and the Right. Fox News is calling Lee the Administration's new "Pushback Czar." Sounds about right to me.
The pols and the hacks have our ostensible journalists both coming and going. It's an irresistably heady mix of propaganda and infotainment. Keep us alternately dumbed down and titillated and frightened. It's the age of American neo-fascism.