Nothing But JournoLists All the Way Down
At the Washington Free Beacon (love those initials), Matthew Continetti explores the clubby world of the president and his court stenographers at the New York Times:
I use quotation marks to surround the word “news” because none of the stories that resulted from the Times interview contained information I did not already know. Income inequality has been the president’s justification for higher taxes and spending since at least 2005, when he spoke at Galesburg, Ill., for the first time as a senator. Earlier this summer, in a ballyhooed speech at Georgetown University, he announced the criteria by which he would decide the fate of the Keystone Pipeline. “Proving the critics wrong by succeeding” is more of an aspiration than a thought or deed: a form of self-assertion, a challenge to opponents, a boast—the mental equivalent of listening to amped-up music before Coach O delivers a motivational speech to the team.
A sort of pep talk to the liberal bourgeoisie, Democrat and Republican, is what the New York Times under Jill Abramson has become. One reads it to confirm rather than challenge one’s perceptions of the world. No mystery what those perceptions are: The Republicans are no good, the president is doing the best he can, equality marches on, America is powerless to influence other countries, illegal immigration has no downside, the government should not be trusted except when it regulates the economy, “institutional” (i.e., invisible) racism plagues contemporary society, traditional religion is a curiosity, etc. Reading the transcript of the president’s interview is valuable because it allows you to see just how self-contained the bobo world is. The paper and its intended audience, in this case the president, form a closed circuit.
Fortunately, the Washington Post, in fierce competition with the New York Times -- or not -- is aware that their competitor at the other end of the Northeast Corridor has abandoned the job of real journalism, and is working hard to make up the slack -- or not.
Continetti writes that the Times under Jill Abramson has became "a sort of pep talk to the liberal bourgeoisie." Why, you brute! You wouldn't want Abramson to make her readers cry in the same way she recently pouted that another group of Obama court stenographers, the Politico, brought her to tears, would you? (Abramson's admission -- insert Oscar Wilde allusion here -- was in Tina Brown's Daily Beast, yet another group of Obama courtesans.)