I’ve argued before that one problem with the news media is that they are quite stupid. A recent speech by CNN celebrity journalist Candy Crowley reinforces that idea. While others commented on her sleep deprivation, this quote leapt out at me:
“On the Democrat side, we never get a chance to see anyone up close. The public has not been as well served because it doesn’t know who these people are,” she said. “Something in me says, ‘Do we know enough?’ It’s hard to find a moment when we think ‘This is the person, not the candidate.’ We don’t have a chance to flesh them out.”
She said neither Clinton nor Obama has much patience with the press generally,
“John McCain doesn’t mind us crowding around. He can talk forever,” she said.
Obama, however, is wary of “What’s the trap here?”
For the record, I consider an utter lack of introspection as a form of stupidity? Without going Full Metal Somerby, does it even occur to Crowley to ask why Democratic politicians might not want the press to ‘see them up close’ or why Clinton and Obama don’t have much patience with the press?
It might have something to do with how Democratic politicians are treated. Al Gore was literally called “lactating” by Maureen Dowd, a NY Times op-ed columnist–and she received a fucking Pulitzer for that drivel. The defamation of Senator Kerry’s military service was not as a pack of scurrilous lies, but, instead, treated a ‘serious’ story.
Then there are the Clinton rules, where anything done by Bill, Hillary, or even Chelsea Clinton, must be poll-tested and conniving (here’s a truly absurd example). And the recent press-inflated controversy regarding Senator Obama and his pastor Jeremiah Wright (apparently, Obama is accountable for statements made by any black person he happens to know) lets you know that this is a Democratic phenomenon: has there been a front-page story about McCain’s endorsement by John Hagee, a man who believes that a nuclear armaggeddon in the Middle East is required for Jesus to return? Nope.
Before I go on, let’s make one thing clear: McCain has not been subjected to anything remotely similar to what Obama went through, even though McCain has publicly accepted Hagee’s endorsement and praised him while doing so. That’s right, McCain praised a man who believes that God wants the nuclear Holocaust of the Jewish people, and… no media feeding frenzy at all.
And Crowley wonders why Obama is worried about “What’s the trap here?”
But what’s more pathetic than her breathtaking stupidity is her naivete. Does she really think any politician actually reveals their inner thoughts to a journalist? She, along with the rest of her colleagues, are being played. When McCain invited his campaign press gaggle over for BBQ, for all I know, he really did have a good time. But to think that he wasn’t also manipulating them is absurd. They’re worse than puppies: you don’t even have to rub their tummies, and they roll over.
How can someone be so dim?