Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let Them Fail

If this is the best the Washington Post can muster, then newspapers can go the way of the dodo and I won't mind. Front page story, first paragraph:
President Obama's apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda.

A lot of hyperbole in this paragraph. Really, a sharp blow? I would imagine that something like North Korea launching nukes would be a sharp blow, or Iraq descending into chaos, or the stock market losing half its value in a week -- these are sharp blows. Executive bonuses at AIG is, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty pointless story. Yet WaPo is happy to put it on the front cover as if it were terribly important news. The great thing about it, from their perspective, is that no actual facts or analysis are needed to run this story. And pundits can have vehement opinions on the matter too, so all much the better.

And really, this is threatening to derail support for his agenda? I can't really imagine environmentalists thinking to themselves, you know what, I was for a cap-and-trade system, but now that AIG execs got their bonuses, screw it, or that a laid off worker will now oppose Obama's health care reform efforts.

If someone brought this crap to me at the Writing Center I'd give them a hard time and might even threaten not to sign that little "I went to the Writing Center" form that was probably required by their professor. And yet these nitwits are writing for one of America's preeminent newspapers.