Recently, I finished Pretty Vacant which describes the origins of the British punk scene. At one point, the author describes one of the first punk-ish shows ever, and how, even though there were only about 65 people in the audience (a crappy black box hole), those 65 people would go on to have a tremendous influence in music, art, and politics*. They definitely punched above their weight.
Well, our national political press is the antithesis of that basement audience–a point I’ve made, oh, once or twice before. The ‘Gang of 500’ is one of the greatest collections of mediocrities going (…rarely in the course of human history have so many accomplished so little…). While others have dwelled on Adam Nagourney’s recent whining that Obama wuz mean to him, one part of that post has gone unmentioned (italics mine):
Obama’s press liaison, Robert Gibbs, has built a particularly large reservoir of ill will. David Mendell, who covered Obama’s Senate campaign for the Chicago Tribune and authored the 2007 Obama book From Promise to Power, wrote about Gibbs as “the anti-Obama” and described him as “Obama’s hired gun, skillfully trained to shoot at reporters whose coverage was deemed unfair. Mendell tells me, “if [Gibbs] feels you’re necessary to achieve a campaign goal, he will give you access and allow you in. But, if he feels you’re not going to be of help, he can just ignore you.”
Read the italicized part again. Has Mendell been living in an alternate political universe…for his entire fucking life? Of course a political campaign isn’t going to waste their time with someone who won’t help further the goals of the campaign. This is what political campaigns do.
But wait! There’s EXTRA BONUS STUPID!! A reporter granted a ten-minute time slot for an interview is upset that after ten minutes…the interview was ended. Because a U.S. senator and presidential candidate has nothing better to do than yap with a reporter.
What is astonishing is the arrogance and belief in privelege that these episodes demonstrate. Meanwhile, this is the same press corps that repeatedly lauds ‘regular folks’, even though they themselves have a deluded sense of importance and place.
So we are left with a basic question: do campaign reporters routinely sniff airplane glue? Because that’s the only explanation for this level of stupidity.
Update: More glue sniffing here.
Related post: Ta-Nehisi Coates thinks reporters should be doing their jobs, not whining.