10 September 2008
Harsh, but True
Matthew Yglesias, here, now writing at Think Progress, says something very important in his part of a discussion of why some campaign journalist are so happy to be played by liars:
But if lying works as a campaign strategy, rather than backfiring and getting the liar branded as an untrustworthy character, then what’s the campaign journalism for? On some level, like everything else in the media, it’s there to make a profit. But what’s the intended audience? ESPN News’ coverage doesn’t have any higher purpose, but it’s there for people who want to learn about the day’s sports news and it gets the job done. But what’s the campaign press doing? It seems to me that if the practitioners of campaign journalism can’t figure out a way to make it so that lying is punished, rather than amplified and rewarded, by the press then they ought to pack up their bags and go do something else. Pretty much all the other branches of the press — from the film critics to the foreign correspondents to the weathermen to the investigative reporters to the “news of the weird” guys — seem to have a clear role in the ecology.