Tuesday, February 01, 2011

"Raising the bar on the media rat race"

Michael Kinsley (Politico):
Determined to be the website with the most and fastest coverage of presidential politics and in responding to reports, such as one in The New York Times on Sunday that said the 2012 election may be the most over-covered presidential contest yet, POLITICO announced that it has decided to skip the 2012 election cycle entirely and to concentrate its resources on 2016.

“The 2016 presidential race begins today,” POLITICO Executive Editor Jim VandeHei said in a webcast press conference from the company’s headquarters at a secret address — 1100 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, Va. Asked whether the lack of candidates would be a problem, VandeHei insisted that “candidates play a less and less significant role in American politics, especially at the presidential level. By the time we have finished covering the political consultants and advisers, then throw in a poll or two, there is really no need to talk to the candidates themselves. Our best scientific evidence is that, while the candidates may still have some vestigial role in 2012, by 2016 they will largely have disappeared, except for purely symbolic activities like posing for pictures [while] coming out of church with their families.” By 2020, VandeHei said, even those will be fabricated. “We project [that] the lack of any official candidates, while it may be a problem for media attempting to cover the 2012 election, will be an anachronistic worry by 2016 and a question on ‘Jeopardy!’ by 2020.” Even today, “Have you seen what you can do with Photoshop?” VandeHei asked. “It’s incredible.”

“Our readers need to stay ahead of the game,” said POLITICO Editor-in-Chief John F. Harris. “Two years from now, the 2012 election will be history, and so will all the coverage of it. You’ve got to think ahead in this business.” Harris added, with the brio that has come to symbolize POLITICO’s rise among the Washington media, that the company has the necessary resources for the job: “In 2008, we were just a couple of potheads with a dream. In 2011, we’re an amateur production of ‘Oklahoma’ in the high school auditorium. Four years from now, we’ll be an overstaffed bureaucracy like the Department of Homeland Security. We’ll be unstoppable.” MORE...

Howie P.S.: Just snark or deft political satire?

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