May 12, 2011 in Journamalism
As the Republicans’ threat to burn the economy down to the ground, i.e. not raise the debt ceiling, marches closer to the day of suicidal conflageration, those with the Beltway-itis (I gots it real bad, Mama!) are starting to stir from their slumber. PM Carpenter goes after one usual culprit, Ruth Marcus (at Ground Zero of the Beltway infection, the Washington Post):
The Post’s Ruth Marcus is, at long last, “alarmed” that the Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is, when it comes to economics, grotesquely guileful. “Even more alarming,” she writes, “is the incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy undergirding Boehner’s remarks.”
Marcus cites several of these ideological Boehnerisms, which run from “The recent stimulus spending binge hurt our economy” to “A tax hike would wreak havoc … on our ability to tackle the national debt.”
One would almost think this is something new, but this is pretty much standard GOP boilerplate dogma, dialed to 11 since the thunderous collapse of 2008 pretty much eviscerated most Republican economic theories. They can’t leave, so they double-down. So where has Marcus been all this time?
What did alarm — indeed, what appalled — in Marcus’ column this morning was this:
Reporters naturally tend to ignore this boilerplate. Journalistically, that makes sense. Boehner’s economic comments [to the New York Economic Club] were nothing particularly new. Indeed, they reflect what has become the mainstream thinking of the Republican Party. But that’s exactly the point. We become so inured to hearing this thinking that we neglect to point out how wrong it is.
Let’s review that line of journalistic … logic. It “makes sense” journalistically to “ignore” profoundly misguided and inescapably harmful economic theories in national vogue because the ideological pols who tout these squalid theories have succeeded in bamboozling millions of voters who don’t comprehend just how profoundly misguided and inescapably harmful they are, because journalists have ignored the theories’ imbecilities, because they’re “inured” to the theories’ national vogue.
Even a freshman, D- student of logic would laff at this circular drivel; and virtually any honorable student of journalism would no doubt promise herself that should she ever “become so inured” to politicians’ self-serving swill of national sabotage that she “neglect[s] to point out how wrong it is,” then she’d quit her profession and just move to Madison Avenue or K Street, where she could, in better conscience, practice an older one.
Whoopty-doodles…Marcus is like most with the Beltway careerist paralysis. She can’t identify what’s going wrong with America without admitting she’s been twiddling her journalistic thumbs. Oh, those silly people are actually a serious threat?
Meting out revenge on Marcus and others like her isn’t so important, except that there’s no reason to believe they won’t go right back to sleep the second we clear this particular hurdle. Yes, you have sinned, Ms. Marcus, but you must sin no more! And part of that is understanding the scope of your past transgressions.
Do you finally feel the horrible regret, Ms. Marcus?