This post is by
from Daily Kos
Click here to view on the original site: Original Post
For the record, I do not necessarily consider Politico to be the blight on humanity that many others consider them to be. If a news outlet ostensibly seeking to be informational spends their time wallowing in the morass of What A Politician Said, as opposed to the plain reality of the world, that is indeed extremely blight-ish, but the Politico defense is right there in the name and the concept; a one-stop shop for all the pointless bullshit that political figures demand they be allowed to say, neatly cordoned off into a section of internet that you can go to if and only if you have the possibly-unhealthy need to hear contrafactual bullshit from the nation’s most highly paid bullshit artists. It would be even better if the name of the site was professional political whores spouting unsubstantiated bullshit dot com, but that is what the word politico has meant since it was invented, and the shorter version is easier to type.
That may sound like damning with faint praise, but the notion of creating a specific place where all the professional crooks and charlatans can dutifully get quoted saying the phrases some think tank is writing them big checks to say? That has potential. That even has value. All we have to do is put a fence and a moat between that zoo exhibit and all the rest of the actual news, i.e. the actual damn facts, and we’d be getting somewhere. Maybe there will someday be a world in which you will receive the actual facts of a news story from, say, CNN (again, this is purely hypothetical; I realize putting “the actual facts” and “CNN” in such close proximity makes the premise seem particularly far-fetched or nonsensical, as if I had said “in the future perhaps the Ebola virus will cook your breakfast”, or “in the future monorail Don Lemon flapjack”), but consumers would be required shuffle off to separate purely politically-minded place like Politico to hear Heritage Institute fellow George P. Syphilis angrily shout that regardless of what you or I or several generations of scientific research might conclude, the sky is in fact green if he and his personal financial backers damn well say it is. There is value in allowing politicians and their associated hangers-on to spout whatever they might feel like spouting, because it is only then that we can do the democratically necessary thing, which is to hold it against them.
On other days I despair of even this small amount of optimism, because our little plan of sequestration and demarcation here relies entirely on being able to separate out the bullshit artists and not treat them as respectable or particularly knowledgable members of society, or at least not as people whose thoughts on sky coloration should be taken seriously or met with chin-stroking contemplation. That in turn would require the societal ability to make note of when certain people were Always Goddamn Wrong—there would have to be a public unit of wrongness, and it would have to be named after Bill Kristol for very obvious reasons, and the people who continually top that scale would have to lose the “expert” label dutifully appended to their self-advertising chyrons and instead be more properly labeled “advocate” or “paid propaganda-peddler” or “unsuccessful psychic” or “sad clown painting come to life and with chip on shoulder, entry seven in a series” or what have you.
And that, below the fold, leads to our current problem.