Posted by Curt on 24 January, 2017 at 12:34 pm. 6 comments already!


The Federalist:

We have all had the experience at some point in our lives of sitting across from someone whose favorite subject is themselves. This is true of nearly everyone to some respect – but for some people, it is a particularly acute problem. It means that the most important topic at the table revolves completely around them. You may have had the experience of asking someone a question at the beginning of lunch – about their life, a book, a recent trip – and then realize as you go to pay the check that they have not asked you a single question since about your own equivalent life, reading, or travel.

Personally I find people like this endearing and interesting, particularly if they have some enjoyable insights into subject matter. I talk enough during the day and it keeps me from running out of words, and a conversation with a smart, witty guest can leave you feeling rejuvenated even if they’re talking the entire time about what they are up to. But imagine if you were only ever around people like this, who wanted to spend an overwhelming percentage of a day-long conversation talking about what they and their ideological allies have been up to, the challenges they and their friends face in such trying times, and most of all, the petty slights they have to endure on a daily basis.

Congratulations! You are watching cable news.

Yesterday President Donald Trump did several significant things. There was real news yesterday regarding the differences in policy between the administrations – not just the executive orders and the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but also the advancement of Mike Pompeo to head the CIA and the clash between Senate Republicans and Chuck Schumer over a broken nomination vote deal. In other words, this was not like one of those Mondays in the summer when there is so little to talk about in the world of sports that Mike and Mike are reduced to arguing about which fruit you ought to wash. There was plenty of real news to talk about.

Instead, journalists were still binging on fake news. Cable news outlets spent segment after segment rehashing the narrative question of how Sean Spicer did in his first briefing and the question of the contentious relationship between this White House and the press. They were still talking about crowd size and the CIA speech from the weekend last night, instead of paying attention to the actual policies that matter to people and will impact their lives.

The situation really hasn’t changed in the twenty years since James Fallows wrote his piece for the Atlantic about why people hate the media.

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