Whoâ€™s to Blame: The Candidates or the Press?
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We did this. The press. America tried to give us a real race, and we turned it into a bag of shit, just in the nick of time.
If you could train a chimpanzee to sit still through a Joe Biden speech, it could probably do the job. The only thing that elevates this work above monkey level is that we get to guess who wins.
For most of us, this is a guilty pleasure. But some of us get so used to being asked who should be running the world that our brains start to ferment. I've seen it happen. The first few times a newbie comes on the campaign trail, he's watching all the flag-waving and the soldier-humping and he's writing it all down with this stunned expression, as if to say, "Jesus, I went to college for this?" Two months later, he's doing six hits a day on MSNBC as a Senior Political Analyst and he's got this weirdly pissed-off look on his face, like he's mad that the world woke up and forgot to kiss his ass that morning. This same meek rookie you saw bent over a steno book just months ago is suddenly talking about how Hillary Clinton needs to do this, Barack Obama needs to do that -- and he's serious! He's not kidding! Next thing you know, he's got an eight-figure book deal and a ten-foot pole up his crack, and he's wearing a tie and loafers to bed. In other words, he's Jonathan Alter.
It's hard not to get caught up in the horse race aspect of it, all roads lead in that direction as it were. But there is a stunning lack of context on the part of the media, as if George Bush and all the damage he has wrought never existed, as if the winner will simply get doused in a bucket of GatorAde and we'll be off to the next race.
I must say I find the disconnect to be somewhat disorienting.