It’s clear that as we move into the 21st century our partisan politics is increasingly about hate, demonization and trying to find something — anything, even if you can’t confirm it — to hurl at someone who sees things differently. TPM has this — which is a new low. It’s utterly disgusting but this is indeed the trend. But people make good money doing it, get attention, and others copy it — hoping to get the attention and good money that is out there to get the political adrenalin up.
Discussing actual issues? Booooooooooooooooooooooring..
UPDATE: I’m not alone in my reaction. And, yes, I truly do think a lot of what we see now is people trying to get a high profile in terms of readership, viewership or listenership and it works. You find something, the beat your chest with outrage, demand an apology, and lay out a narrative even though there is no confirmation that it true. As Daffy Duck would say: “True, schmoo, as long as people notice me…”
The way it works: pick something, seize on it, express outrage, then the next person tries to top the outrage, ignore the need for confirmation or fact checking or just brush it aside if it’s proven wrong, repeat it, keep expanding it and get the attention so people read, view or listen to you again.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.