Friday, November 16, 2012

Legacy Pledge

It's easy (and fun) to pick on budding media legacy Luke Russert and his frequently inelegant ways of approaching the important issues of the day, or even getting the wrong end of the stick on some things. But he did try his artless "when you gonna retire already, Grandma?" schtick on Hoyer and Clybourn as well, so not completely sexist.

A better tack to take, perhaps, might have been to find a way to point out the more generally obvious -- that Congress, especially the Senate but certainly many House reps as well, has more than its share of fogies, that with virtually guaranteed incumbency in most districts and states, one can very easily grow old and die in office, and get used to the prospect of doing so as time goes on.

But that's what the media does best -- fixating on the superficial, ignoring the deeper and more important story right in front of them. Instead of correctly noting that the average age in the House is 58, and in the Senate is 63, that there are legitimate questions about what in many cases turns into a more-or-less lifetime incumbency, and a working age decades beyond that of average 'murkins, they turn it into a sexist, ageist blurt. Instead of pointing out that everyone in the Petraeus "scandal" is a Republican, and thus has no interest in covering anything up for the Obama administration, it's allowed to linger and become an insinuated factoid in cahoots with the Great Benghazi/Reichstag Coverup.

Incidentally, how many folks who are outraged, just apoplectic over this manifest American tragedy, how many of them are bent that Condi Rice, the National Security Advisor on the day that 3,000 Americans were murdered on their home soil, not only was promoted to Secretary of State, but still appears regularly to shill for her party, is considered a "serious" Republican, and was even considered a possible veep contender for Money Boo Boo's ticket? None, that's how many, because these sorts of "serious" questions always and only apply in one direction.

And it starts, of course, with a media that is complaisant to power, which of course is what Tim Russert specialized in. Just the nature of the niche he was in; the Sunday chat shows are meant to smooth the rough edges of actual discourse, to give shithouse-rat goofy people a seat at the adults' table and confer the sheen of legitimacy.

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