Sunday, November 18, 2007

CELEBRITY JOURNALISM. For their inaugural Newsweek columns, Markos Moulitsas and Karl Rove provide innocuous partisan rah-rah. Moulitsas tells us that the Party in power can be successfully attacked for their bad governance, and Rove tells us that Hillary Clinton can be beaten by a Republican who will "create a narrative that explains [his] life and commitments." Stop the presses!

Rove, of course, is not likely to give away strategic secrets for such small honoraria as Newsweek can provide, as his hilarious suggestion that the GOP nominee "aggressively campaign for the votes of America's minorities" makes clear. Moulitsas has far less of a king-making reputation to protect, and his simple litany of Bush failures, tied together with a familiar pro-government message ("If Americans want willfully ineffective government, they'll have a Republican Party desperate for their votes"), adds nothing to it.

If Newsweek is willing to waste money on talents outside their normal hiring pool, how I wish they had shown some of the foolhardy moxie of "60 Minutes" some years back, when the popular show brought aboard P.J. O'Rourke, Molly Ivins, and Stanley Crouch as commentators. This experiment, you may recall, was suspended after eight weeks following an outcry from viewers who felt that Andy Rooney was providing quite enough guff for one hour.

Why couldn't the magazine have picked, say, Gavin MacLeodMcNett* and Jeff Goldstein? After a few weeks of Gavin's investigative reports and Goldstein's semiotics, enraged mobs would be burning piles of Newsweek in the streets, and the victory of citizen journalism over the MSM would be that much closer.

No, they're too clever for that. If I have learned anything from the failure of Newsweek (and Time and U.S. News and World Reports and The Watchtower) to publish any of the hundreds of carefully hand-lettered essays I have submitted over the years, it is that the Main Stream Media is/are a crafty beast that will not cede power willingly. Our best hope is to continue ratcheting up the level of psychic violence on our blogs, poisoning the discourse sufficiently that by the 2012 election, the hot new thing will be columnists who stalk ex-girlfriends and use lots of swears.

Oh, who am I kidding? They'll just call the current columns "Dingleberries from the Turd Blossom" and "It's Kos, Kocksuckers!" thereby giving President Giuliani a media issue to help distract attention from his War in the Ukraine.

*UPDATE. He isn't the guy who played Murray on "The Love Boat"? Another week begins in bitter disappointment.

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