The media excitement over a sleazy new "political" book reveals the real function of our press corps--No event in recent memory has stimulated the excitment and interest of Washington political reporters like the release of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's new book, Game Change, and that reaction tells you all you need to know about our press corps. By all accounts (including a long, miserable excerpt they released), the book is filled with the type of petty, catty, gossipy, trashy sniping that is the staple of sleazy tabloids and reality TV shows, and it has been assembled through anonymous gossip, accountability-free attributions, and contrived melodramatic dialogue masquerading as "reporting." And yet -- or, really, therefore -- Washington's journalist class is poring over, studying, and analyzing its contents as though it is the Dead Sea Scrolls, lavishing praise on its authors as though they committed some profound act of journalism, and displaying a level of genuine fascination and giddiness that stands in stark contrast to the boredom and above-it-all indifference they project in those rare instances when forced to talk about anything that actually matters. All imperial courts -- especially collapsing ones -- love to occupy themselves with insular, snotty trivialities. As this book and the excitement it has produced demonstrates, providing that distraction is exactly what our press corps most loves to do and what it does best. The media sleazebags who turned Bill Clinton's penile spots, cigars and semen stains into headline news for two straight years haven't gone anywhere; they're actually stronger and more dominant than ever.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Greenwald: "Political reporting" means "royal court gossip"
"Political reporting" means "royal court gossip" (Glenn Greenwald):