Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why I don't read Politico

I know Politico is supposed to be the be-all, end-all of political reporting inside the Beltway. That said, I don't have it bookmarked. I occasionally read Laura Rozen, and she has an on-and-off spot on my RSS aggregator. That's it. Why? Well, this is why:

But this article comes from an insider mindset so corroded by cynicism that it cannot fathom a world where any political actor does anything for any reason other than naked self-promotion. Is it really so naive of me to believe that Dick Cheney keeps arguing for an all-powerful executive unencumbered by the Constitution, the courts, or congress because he misguidedly believes that would keep us safe, and not simply because he wants to be on TV? It's a repulsive mindset, and one that shouldn't be treated as sensible and mainstream by the press, but I think it's heartfelt!

The article is a fantastic takedown on the cynical, process-oriented, horserace bullshit that Politico shovels out day after day. The last thing Washington needs is a news outlet that is dedicated to process, since most other mainstream media outlets are already 90% there. Politico just decides to ditch that last pesky 10% of actual policy discussion in favor of even more "who's up, who's down" crap.

Even worse, this is the stuff that Washington insiders read all day long. Chris Matthews and his guests (usually at least one Politico reporter each show) talk all the time about how essential Politico is for pols in DC. The people in DC read so much of this inside baseball crap that they start believing it. The cynic in me says that many of them were hopeless before they got to DC, but when our representatives are reading such utter crap all day long, it must have an effect. And they're no longer governing, they're locked in an eternal horserace.

(HT: Sullivan)

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