Atrios Almost Gets It Right

2 comments March 27th, 2007at 11:52am Posted by Eli

Atrios on the media:

There is good journalism out there, and dirty bloggers generally would have little to talk about if there wasn’t. Well, except for all the wankery.

Still, there’s a difference between those who report the news and those who talk about it. The former generally takes of the form of quality print journalism, which is then given wings on the various cable news channels, political/news talk radio, by the Sunday Bobbleheads, in unctuous Fred Hiatt Op-Eds, etc. It is in these forums that news is turned into narratives, where certain facts and spin are privileged or diminished, where The Story becomes A Story, where conventional wisdom is created and disseminated both to political insiders and to the rest of us. It’s where supposedly knowledgeable people make sense of all of the news for the rest of us, by telling us what is important (or at least relevant and interesting) and why it is important.

In many of these forums the True Elites of Elite journalism put on their peacock feathers and strut around, proudly sporting their faux-cynicism and horrifying vacuity.

So, yes, there are plenty of good journalists out there doing important work. They need to understand that they’re being publicly represented by a cast of fools. And, no, we’re not just talking about the various flunkies and hacks that fill time during the day on MSNBC. We’re talking about people with very prestigious titles and roles, such as editors of major newsweekly magazines and hosts of Well Respected Sunday Talk Shows.

I think it’s unfair to suggest that the pundits’ cynicism isn’t genuine. What’s false is the sophistication which their cynicism masquerades as, and that’s what makes them so amoral and repellent.

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Wankers


  • 1. Smarty  |  March 27th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    That’s a lot to think about on a Tuesday afternoon.

    I will say this.

    It’s warm, humid and partly cloudy here.

    = )

  • 2. Eli  |  March 27th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    It’s currently very mild here, but with a 60% chance of faux sophistication and horrifying vacuity later in the evening, until at least next November.

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