Thursday, June 24, 2004

# Posted 1:47 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OUR BIPOLAR MEDIA: Brad DeLong has put up a persuasive post documenting certain journalists' contempt for policy expertise. However, I think Brad goes too far when he condemns the entire media establishment for its arrogant anti-intellectualism. After all, how can the same journalists who savage George W. Bush -- and once savaged Ronald Reagan -- for failing to master the intricate details of national policy be considered anti-intellectual?

I think it might be better to say that the media is opportunistic and narrative-driven. Instead of simply criticizing individuals, it tries to brand them as stock characters: Bush and Reagan the cowboys, Clinton the womanizer, etc. Even when they play against type, they get forced back into their pre-assigned roles. What Reagan taught us is that there is only one way to transcend this imposition: by dying at an opportune moment.
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