Wednesday, April 01, 2020

It's A Stupid Job

There are a lot of not mutually exclusive explanations for the bizarre culture of elite political reporters in this country. I thought Pareene's addition to the list was good, especially in the context of Donald Trump becoming president anew every damn day.

[M]ostly these guys want to be witnesses to Great Men Making History. They want to Respect The Office Of The Presidency.
I can imagine that being that close to the rooms where it happens is intoxicating, and the reporters feel like they are a part of history. Even people watching events on teevee somehow feel as if they were participants in them. We all experienced 9/11, somehow, and a bizarre number of people born around 1955 seem to think they marched for civil rights in the 1960s. You. Were. There.

Even if the men are great, it isn't clear what purpose it serves to hear what they say and then dutifully write it down. We can all see Trump's tweets. You don't actually need to repeat them. It's like the joke in Galaxy Quest, where the job of Sigourney Weaver is to simply repeat what the computer says. It's a stupid job, but she's going to do it.

And when the men are not great, when the man is Trump, fitting the racism and stupidity and gibberish into a narrative about Great Men is actively dishonest. It's writing fairy stories.

Here’s another thing you should understand about these guys: The only thing the elite Washington press corps likes more than a bipartisan commission on debt reduction is a stack of flag-draped coffins.

We're going to find out how much they love the non flag-draped coffins filled, in part, with people they know.