Orange Juice: Is It Possible for the Entire Traditional Media to Jump the Shark?

You might have read about the latest conclusive proof that Democrats are the party of out-of-touch elitists: Senator Obama ordered orange juice instead of coffee. While many see this as an attempt to manufacture controversy, I think the hypothesis that the press corps is so stupid as to border on mental disability is operative here. Hunter writes:

I can understand why a presidential candidate doing badly at bowling would be a fun, two-minute diversion from weightier matters. And I can understand why a presidential candidate speaking imprecisely about a difficult political issue would become political news. The orange juice thing, where we’re trying to pin an “elitist” label on someone because they asked for orange juice instead of coffee?
No. That was the point where the wires crossed, and shorted. There is a point in which a triviality becomes less than trivial, less than banal, and becomes, to use the most technical term for it, deeply and abrasively stupid. There is no spin possible that turns “asking for orange juice” into an issue of elitism or snobbery: there is, in an infinite sea of alternate realities, not one in which asking for orange juice demonstrates an important negative aspect of character. It is stupid. It is aggressively stupid; it is soul-burrowingly stupid; it is mind-fuckingly stupid. It is the kind of stupid that seeps into the rug so that the entire building stinks of stupid for the next ten years whenever the air conditioning comes on. It is the kind of stupid that wounds all those who come into contact with it. It is a stupid that has been rendered physical: it leaves a scar.
….There is a profound lesson to be taken from Orangejuicegate, or Bowlinggate, or Bittergate, and that lesson is that the guardians of our discourse are, at heart, idiots. There is no other explanation or redemption. Anyone attempting to draw out character definition from a glass of orange juice is, at heart, someone who has entirely run out of insightful things to say. Anyone attempting to make the case that a bowling score represents the measure of a man deserves to be basted, roasted, and served to whatever imbecile of a president does manage to rise to the top of their addled internal scoresheet.

And Hunter’s solution is dead on target:

At the same time, I think the appropriate response to this is not to get too angry and pretend to seriously rebut any of this, but to simply recognize it as a function of a deeply embarrassing and inept media environment, and, well… make fun of them. Repeatedly. That is what passes for analysis, as the world decays around us?
Because it should be nothing short of hilarious that, just as usual, orange juice and bowling are stories that titillate our “experts”, but torture approved at the highest levels of government is not.

I think Hunter is right: this is a level of stupidity that rivals creationism, and, as such, is worthy only of contempt. It should not be taken seriously, and those who purvey this bilge should heckled as the addled fools that they are. And media analysts wonder why newspapers and TV news is losing audience share….

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11 Responses to Orange Juice: Is It Possible for the Entire Traditional Media to Jump the Shark?

  1. SLC says:

    I wonder what Senator McCains’ bowling average is?

  2. Pierce R. Butler says:

    You gotta remember that, after the first Simpson unpleasantness, the corporate media have instilled in themselves a conditioned reflex to anything suggesting “O.J.”…

  3. David Clay says:

    I have a different explanation. They are not idiots, but rather are paid to be idiotic. Glen Greenwald ( and Bob Sommerby ( make this point over and over

  4. Mark P says:

    I disagree with David. They are stupid, and happy about it. That kind of story excites them because they have no idea of the difference between significant and insignificant. They are sheep, with the depth of intellect of sheep. They pontificate and parade their stupidity. I have long said that journalists are, as a group, the most poorly educated of all professionals. As a group they are also stupid, too stupid to recognize their own stupidity.

  5. SLC says:

    I think one of the problems here is that the policy difference between Senators Clinton and Obama are so small. The media thrives on controversy which sells papers/attracts viewers. If a controversy can’t be manufactured based on policy differences, then they will manufacture one based on personality quirks or gotchas.

  6. Andrew says:

    Aren’t coffee drinkers more elitist though? I mean afterall they are pining for a return to the plantation, where they can watch the natives picking beans from the veranda.
    At least it wasn’t tea though – all tea drinkers are actually imperialists seeking to dominate the globe through tight control of trade and bouts of military adventurism. We wouldn’t want that. 🙂

  7. SLC says:

    Re Andrew
    “Aren’t coffee drinkers more elitist though? ”
    That’s certainly true of folks who get their overpriced coffee at Starbucks.

  8. Wobert says:

    Mark,I think your being a bit harsh on the sheep.

  9. QrazyQat says:

    If McCain had ordered orange juice instead of coffee, he would’ve been lauded for sticking to a patriotic American product from Florida or Texas instead of elitist foreign coffee (even if the juice was from Brazil and the coffee from Hawaii).

  10. Matthew L. says:

    Sometimes I have both a glass of orange juice and coffee at breakfast. Would that make me a flip-flopper?

  11. Anonymous says:

    very good.

Comments are closed.