Friday, November 02, 2012

Why pundits are morons

And how did The Fox Nation track down its top story? By reading Washington Post online pundit Jennifer Rubin:
That’s the best he can do? “Voting is the best revenge”? And against whom should voters seek “revenge” — other Americans? A candidate who has the support of about half the electorate? It is mind-boggling, really, that this sort of snide, negative motivation is what President Obama has saved up for his final appeal.

Sometimes it's like talking to a really stupid but persistent space alien, you know? See, there's this proverb, "Living well is the best revenge," that really isn't about taking revenge at all. Through the centuries, it's launched a thousand ships: Headline, song title, album title, book title, film title -- where it all ends, knows God. Eating well has a strong case for best revenge. So is drinking well. Voting -- why would such a low-hanging cliche go unpicked?

You can see why the outer reaches of the wackosphere exploded at this one; I mean, why pass up a chance to say "thug from Chicago" with a video of a scary black dude? But we have grownup news organizations, at least in part, so someone can look at this sort of "Invasion from Mars"-style ginned-up panic and ask: Why is that a story?

I suppose this familiar topic is worth noting as well:

Not a lot of gubernatorial races turn on who is the more narcissistic candidate.

Not a lot of presidential races do, either, so it's worth wondering -- again -- what pundits mean when they say it. When "narcissism" co-occurs with "thug" and "Chicago," there's a good chance that the omitted term is something on the order of "New Black Panthers." In other words, it's the polite columnist's way of saying "uppity."

3 Comments:

Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

"Narcissistic" supposedly means "says I, me, my" too much. But considering that every time anyone (*cough*Mark Liberman*cough*) actually counts the words, other people, like, oh, say, Mitt Romney, actually use them more.

So, yeah. "Uppity".

10:46 PM, November 02, 2012  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

ps - did you see this 1927 cartoon?

10:48 PM, November 02, 2012  
Blogger fev said...

Loved the cartoon! Took me back to the good old days, it did.

So much crazy, so little time ...

7:54 PM, November 05, 2012  

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