Ken Silverstein interviews Chris Lehmann:
via Laura Rozen


I’ve seen many recent headlines about the alleged “feverish speculation” about who the vice presidential nominees are going to be. Is the public really all that interested in these sorts of campaign issues at this point, or is the fever largely confined to the media?

. . . Imagine if you were covering the baseball playoffs and you wrote that there was massive speculation about who was going to win. It’s manifestly moronic because you’re writing about a scheduled event that is going to take place on a known timeline. You’re contributing nothing. It’s the opposite of news; any useful public information is entirely missing. But that’s the way the press bubble operates. Not only do reporters write about what they’re talking about, but they’re writing about each other. Notice the passive construction in these stories about “rampant speculation” and ask yourself, “Who’s doing the speculating?” It’s the reporters who are; most voters, being sane people, might think about it for a second but then they move on to the next thing in their day.

There’s currently a lot of discussion in the media about the conventions and who’s going to get a bounce from them, whether Obama or McCain. Is this at all relevant to the question of who is going to win in November?
No, unless you believe that political campaigns have a platonic existence completely outside of reality. It’s the same thing with all the discussion about who won the Saddleback debate. The only important issue about Saddleback is that the Constitution specifically forbids any religious test for office, so why are you having an evangelical minister asking the two candidates about their relationship to Christ? But the people who are in charge of delivering useful information to the public about the process have no historical frame of reference. They literally don’t know what they’re doing.

Why does the press cover this stuff so intently?

more at Harper's Magazine

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