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Hostile Takeover '08: Democrats Gone Wild

David Sirota: Democratic candidates embrace the culture of corruption with the zeal of Republicans.
 
 
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Flipping on the television last night, I was struck by how utterly vapid the media's coverage of the presidential fundraising numbers is. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but there's something, well, surreal about watching Adam Nagourney and Charlie Rose sit there chin-scratching like Serious Thinkers while spending a full 15-20 minutes of airtime trying to bend FEC numbers into a Vegas-style handicapping system, without so much as a word about what industries are buying what from whom with those contributions. And mind you, this was public television, where the coverage is supposed to be "substantive."

I'm not going to spend much time speculating on why the coverage is the way it is because it's likely due not to some conspiracy or ideology, but to sheer, utter, unadulterated laziness - it just takes way fewer brain cells to discuss how, for instance, Hillary Clinton raising $26 million means she's a "frontrunner" than, say, trying to figure out what all that money actually BOUGHT from Hillary Clinton in terms of positions, promises, etc. As a reporter, you actually have to do a little bit of what's known as "real work" to get that information, and come on, people - that's too much to ask. As a citizen not paid full-time to report, you have to really dig through this mess of noise to get even the vaguest sense of the high-rolling auction taking place - but if you look in the right places, you can figure it out what's really going on.

David Sirota is a veteran political strategist and author of Hostile Takeover , a New York Times bestseller about the corruption of both political parties.