Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Narrative correctness

Why is Rand Paul's Republican Teabagger victory in Kentucky CNN's top story on the political ticker? In the home state of Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning, no amount of ideological extremism should be a surprise, and Paul's victory was so widely expected that it barely qualifies as news.

There was real news yesterday:

But CNN is wasting its pixels on teabaggers. It's not that CNN is filled with teabag sympathizers. But the "TRENDING" tag ought to be a clue.

Big media no longer wants to report what happened today. It wants to develop a story arc. That makes writing and editing easier - and laziness is the great inertial force in human behavior. But it also leads to all the really good gigs:
  • Slots among the shouters on TV
  • Big stories that the Pulitzer Committee might look twice at
  • The change to cast a story into book form (or maybe that's just my dream)
  • Hollywood (in their wildest TV movie fantasies)
Electorally, it was a pretty good day for Democrats. Why couldn't that have been the narrative? Pasting up a new narrative is hard work!

I suppose I should be happy that the media didn't go with its bullshit false equivalence reflex to claim that both Republican and Democratic extremists won. Maybe calling Sestak, Halter, and Critz extremists was too obviously nonsense even for the (non-Fox) media.

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