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politics

Reporters: The Political World's Whipping Boys

Andrew Scurria

Posted: Jun 9th 2008 3:37AM

Filed Under: Politics, University of Pennsylvania, News

I get campaign e-mails from all three presidential campaigns -- whoops, I mean two, since hell hath indeed frozen over -- and have noticed a striking tendency. The PR wizards love attacking journalists as much as they do opponents. My explanation? The tempation to do so is just too great to ignore. It's far easier to score quick points doing that than it is to confront negative coverage. But that question begs another: Why is the elaborate dance between the covering and the covered set up that way? Can't the relationship be based on mutual respect -- in the model of JFK, who respected reporters' intellect and valued their craft?

I'm not entirely sure why journalists are everyone's favorite whipping boys -- and not just in politics. Print is no longer king and never will be again, and there are more sources of news and analysis out there than ever (insert Bright Hall plug) but it's hard to see how that alone spawns incredible mistrust and anger at the traditional media, some based on reality, some not.

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culture

Can Matt Lauer profile me please?

Andrew Scurria

Posted: May 30th 2008 1:25PM

Filed Under: Culture, University of Pennsylvania

My mother and I have been watching NBC's Today show long enough to remember when it was a measly two hours, and we've always watched with the kind of stupefied fascination you'd have watching a goldfish swim hopelessly around its tank looking for an escape route. Both pathetic and funny.

But if I grow up to be rich and famous, I will never, ever, turn down an interview on that show. Today has taken mindlessness to a whole 'nother level when it expanded to three hours a few years ago; then a month ago, it went to four, giving Matt Lauer and Co. even more time to do what they do best – Fawn with a capital F.

My personal favorite was a piece on Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust from last week. I didn't think they could devote a full eight minutes to the fact that she is Harvard's first woman president, but boy, this show never disappoints! No mention of anything even remotely negative -- not Harvard's undeclared war on other colleges, not her political posturing, and certainly nothing on her own second-fiddle status in the presidential search.

What a disservice. Forget what Buzz Bissinger said about blogs dumbing us down. The real culprits are on network TV, first thing in the morning.

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Three cheers for bashing white people!

Andrew Scurria

Posted: May 30th 2008 1:23PM

Filed Under: US Elections, University of Pennsylvania

If we're getting closer to going colorblind, as the Obamaniacs would have us believe, is it still politically incorrect to be an elderly white male?

Looks like it.

So who's to blame, if you're like me, a Y-Chromosomer who would give Casper a run for his money?

Well, like everyone, I blame white people for this one too. It's just that white culture is so ... boring. No one is ever proud of being white. At the university I attend, there's plenty of cultural relativism going on, but not much in the way of majority groups.

Make fun of minorities and you're (rightfully) a pariah. Make fun of whites and there's a book deal in store.

One thing I have going for me: I'm only 20, so I'm not an old white guy just yet. I at least have a decade or two before I have to start apologizing for being born the way I am. In the meantime, we have John McCain to convince us that old white guys do indeed have something to offer. Yippee.

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