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Hullabaloo


Saturday, June 23, 2007

 
All American Girl

by digby

Ms Henneberger ventured out into the wilds of Middle America and, lo and behold, found a bunch of women who think just like she does:

So it turns out that the columnist who thinks the Democrats' pro-choice position is hurting the party, who presents this as objective advice based on empirical observation, who does not mention her own position on the issue, is in fact anti-choice. And the column is doubly wankerrific: it's hopelessly wrong and dishonest.

Color me shocked.

This, of course, is how it's done in the exciting fast-paced world of professional columnizing. David Broder goes out among the Common Folk and finds a deep yearning for bipartisan compromise. Tom Friedman takes a taxi and learns that globalization is a force for good. And Melinda Henneberger talks--no, 'listens'--to women and discovers, amazingly, that they agree with her on abortion. They go out with an agenda and 'hear' whatever confirms it.

And even though the self-serving nature of their 'observations' is laughably transparent, they all maintain the fiction that they are doing no more than reporting the facts. That's what makes them wankers.


That is exactly why I don't trust this stale and silly convention of DC insiders and elite pundits making anthropological forays into Real America and "reporting" back on the thinking of the electorate. They just reinforce their own preconceived notions and come back to their perch at the top of the political power structure secure in the knowledge that they are just like small town, hard working, regular folks after all.

Give me cold poll numbers any day --- and if somebody wants to follow up with interviews of a sample of that sample for an article in the paper, then fine. But the notion that DC pundits have some special way of talking to strangers that translates into something meaningful about the population at large is ridiculous.

Henenberger is anti-choice. Fine. She went out and found some anti-choice people just like her and extrapolated from their conversation that abortion was killing the Democratic party, just as she personally thinks it is. But she never says that. Instead, she pretends that she has conducted some objective reporting which led to the inevitable conclusion that the Democratic party is losing because of abortion. That is shoddy journalism, opinion or not.

She should have written a straight up anti-choice op-ed. That's perfectly legitimate. But she is being completely dishonest to say that her opinion has any empirical value. It doesn't.


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