For Once I Agree With Ross Douthat


    I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on anything — before today.  But this op-ed by the conservative columnist had me saying “ditto” – or whatever it is conservatives say these days when they, like, TOTALLY agree with each other. Referring to the back and forth on Palin’s responsibility – or lack thereof – for the Arizona shootings, Douthat writes:

    …Which, needless to say, gave the press exactly the excuse it needed to continue its wall-to-wall Palin coverage for another 48 hours – and beyond, perhaps, given that she’s slated to appear on Sean Hannity’s show Monday night.

    The whole business felt less like an episode in American political history than a scene from a particularly toxic marriage – more “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” than “The Making of the President.” The press and Palin have been at war with each other almost from the first, but their mutual antipathy looks increasingly like co-dependency: they can’t get along, but they can’t live without each other either.

    Exactly right, and yet on and on it goes, further and further down into the sewers, trash heaps, whatever metaphor of sliminess you want to use. And even though, as Douthat points out, Palin is NOT “the most important conservative politician in America” nor does she have “a plausible path to the presidency in 2012.” Why would the “lamestream media” make utter fools of themselves in this way (and lower the level of discourse in America, and ignore a gazillion other important stories happening across America and the world)? Perhaps because they’re too busy denying the fact that they’re in a moral and economic death spiral, largely of their own making, to even notice (or care) what they’re doing to themselves? Or maybe this is their last, pathetic effort to try and figure out a way back to relevance, and more importantly for them, a sustainable business model for their industry?

    • kindler

      She perfectly fits the “reality show” format of getting good-looking people on camera doing asinine, outrageous and sometimes evil things.

      She’s too perfect for the role — perhaps she’s really a fembot built by the Media Entertainment Complex?

    • jack russell

      thinking that the primary purpose of the news media is to inform people.  The primary purpose of the media is to sell papers or get people to watch.  In other words, what you see on TV is an entertainment product that happens to talk about current events.  There is no notion of responsibility any more other than a responsibility to the shareholders of the media conglomerates to get more people to watch.

      The problem with Palin is that she is made for TV.  Lots of people find her to have an attractive face, and she is always trying to figure out what to do or say that will get the media to sit up and pay attention to her.  And that drives eyeballs, as it were.

      I had a chance to question the guy from Politico about their right-wing bias once.  His argument was that the Republicans have mastered “freak show politics” and Democrats haven’t or don’t want to go down that road (which is the more likely explanation).  As a result, Republicans get more coverage.  That was his argument, anyways, but given characters like Palin, Beck, and all the others, it would be hard to argue against that moniker.