IOKIYAR to Infinity.

Ok, so I know IOKIYAR is (and has been for ages) SOP in DC. Still, the manner in which the Village took Rosengate oh-so seriously (and turned it up TO ELEVEN) but is now suddenly backpeddling re: The Nuge’s semi-coherent call for Obama’s assassination (gosh, campaign surrogates sure do say the darndest things!*) is especially galling.

Steve M. breaks it down:

 [T]he press will shrug off Nugent because the press has been in denial for years about just how insane right-wingers are. No matter what angry, extreme, menacing, paranoid thing right-wingers are up to, the press is always looking for signs that it’s all just a silly phase, all just the work of a few outliers.

Mainstream journalists don’t want to admit that the vast majority of people in the right-wing base agree with every word Nugent said.

They certainly don’t want to believe that there’s any genuine connection between what Nugent said and Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney! Such an upstanding, responsible man! (Never mind that Romney has done the gang initiation and become one of the right-wing crazies. Never mind that his campaign actively sought out Nugent’s endorsement.)

The press acknowledged that Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke remarks were extreme, and mocked Santorum surrogate Foster Friess. But now it’s Romney we’re talking about — the guy who reassures the press that the GOP is perfectly safe and responsible. Unless Romney picks a Palinesque running mate, no one in the press is ever going to believe that any right-wing extremism has anything to do with him — or his voter base, even though what Nugent said precisely captures that base’s thinking.

I don’t believe the Beltway is starting to fall for Romney like it did McMaverick (tire swing!) But without question Village refs are far more easily worked by sharp-elbowed wingnuts than by progressive interests. Plus, Mittens’ rep as a flag twisting in the political winds perversely appeals to reflexively cynical Villager scorn for anything that resembles sincerity & passion (oh so savvy!)

Which is (sadly) good news for Mitt Romney and bad news for those who appreciate reality that is unobstructed by the fuzzy view from the bottom of some stenographic wanker’s highball.

*Politico may titter at wingnut incitement of violence towards members of the US Federal government — including POTUS — but the Secret Service sure doesn’t.

Horse Races and Verbal Oatmeal

by matttbastard 

Matt Taibbi continues his superlative coverage-of-2008-presidential-election-coverage with this Rolling Stone essay that examines slavering Beltway horserace journalism and the unquestioning digestion of “maddeningly nonspecific, platitude-filled verbal oatmeal that every candidate has spent the last year slinging in all directions”.

As Eric Alterman put it this past Friday:

Seriously, let’s cut the crap. Cover the candidates’ stands on the issues, please, so voters can make sensible decisions. This obsession with the horserace is only making everyone doing it look like a horse’s ass. Literally.

Related: In keeping with the meta theme, Blake Hounshell runs down the Ten Commandments of Punditry (my personal favourite: 9. Thou shalt not commit the sin of Common Sense); veteran UK political correspondent Godfrey Hodgson tries to fill the omnipresent talking head hot air re: the US electorate’s desire for “change” with something resembling substance in this thoughtful openDemocracy piece.

01.16: edited slightly for clarity/to add Alterman quote

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Quote Of The Day 2: High-Brow Panty-Sniffing

by matttbastard

sigh.jpg

The goal of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy isn’t merely to win — it’s to make the public feel that any Democrat who might attain real power is someone no decent person should associate with, someone we should cross the street to avoid, someone whose intentions and goals are dangerous — if not unspeakable. That’s the message being spread right now about Hillary Clinton in these linked communications. She is a lesbian agent of terror. Her vagina will get us all killed.

Steve M., nailing it.

Seriously, Matt Drudge and Rupert Murdoch, along with Beltway/blogosphere rodents who are always so quick to mindless scurry in line when the first few notes are breathlessly played by the aforementioned VRWC opinion-pipers, still personify everything that is wrong with contemporary political journalism. Welcome to the official kickoff to real 2008 campaign press coverage. Check your standards at the door, right alongside your brain.

Via Memeorandum

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