Clinton Sums Up the Political Media

If a policymaker is a political leader and is covered primarily by the political press, there is a craving that borders on addictive to have a storyline,” Clinton said. “And then once people settle on the storyline, there is a craving that borders on blindness to shoehorn every fact, every development, every thing that happens into the story line, even if it’s not the story.

— Bill Clinton, quoted by the Washington Post.

White House Correspondents Dinner Gets the Gawker Treatment

Tomorrow evening, the cream of our nation’s mainstream media celebrities, political celebrities, and celebrity celebrities will put on tuxedos and evening gowns and gather in a ballroom in Washington, DC to mutually give one another handjobs, in a mostly metaphorical sense. This is because the most powerful elements of our nation’s DC press corps are all ‘on the same team’ as the people they cover (politicians) and the people they idolize (celebrities). This is called the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, and it is the single most revolting annual gathering of pseudojournalistic cocksuckery in all the land.

— Gawker, stating the obvious.

DC Wise Men to Beltway Media: ‘Let’s Just Say It, The Republicans Are the Problem’

Books by Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein, <i>It's Even Worse Than It Looks</i> (2012) and <i>Broken Branch</i> (2008)
Books by Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein, It's Even Worse Than It Looks (2012) and Broken Branch (2008)
Thomas Mann of Brookings and Norm Ornstein from the American Enterprise Institute published an op-ed in the Washington Post on Friday that was aimed directly at members of Beltway media. Titled “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem,” it is a plea to journalists in the capital to stop their lazy both-sides-do-it reporting and recognize that blame for the political morass facing the country rests predominantly with the GOP:

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party. […]