Sunday, August 15, 2010

Noted in passing, with a desire to take a long nap

I know I don't usually comment on political races, but I'm making a sort of exception here because the real point is not the race, it's the coverage.

If you want to know everything and I mean everything that is wrong with how the media covers political issues and political campaigns, check this out. It's all about how Sharon Angle is "learning the fine art of politically shrewd phrasing" and thus "becoming a more deft and potentially formidable candidate."

The evidence of this is a tape recording of a business networking breakfast where she campaigned last week. In one case, she was asked her position on federal recognition of same-sex marriage and her answer was about replacing Social Security with a "personalized retirement plan." In another, she dodged a question about ending legal prostitution in Nevada, saying she'd leave it to the counties. In a third, she was asked about teaching evolution in public schools and went on about how evolution and creationism are both "theories" and "we don't know, we weren't there" and how if we're to "raise logical thinkers," we have to "allow for the debate."

All this was regarded with admiration as examples of an increasing skill at campaigning. In fairness, the author did note how what Angle said in those cases either evaded or contradicted her previous statements (and, in the case of evolution, reality) but the overall focus was not on that - not on the lies or the evasions or the ignorance - but on the political skill she showed in the course of lying, evading, and being bone-headedly ignorant and how, in the words of the one person quoted on it, this is "a good sign for Angle supporters."

It is an absolutely distilled example of horse-race coverage and a prime bit of evidence as to why we are so woefully uninformed and easily buffaloed that we will fall for the kind of crap that gets spewed on a daily basis. We are so screwed.

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