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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

 
Taken For A Ride

by tristero

Don't miss Maeve Reston's revolting hurl in the LA Times recalling the halcyon days when McCain pampered, flattered, and even healed his media entourage. It really can't be excerpted, you need to experience the lurching contractions of the whole retch.

Many of you may be embarrassed, or even repelled, at Reston's avid enthusiasm for exposing, for no reason whatsoever, her truly limitless narcissism and negative self-esteem. It really is quite remarkable: It's all her fault, she informs us, that the Straight Talk Express derailed because she asked an awkward question of St. John McCain on video tape. It's like reading the confession of one of those cultists in the homemade skirts married to that polygamist. Memo to Maeve: It's not your fault. Trust me.

Reston's personality type is ripe for exploitation by trained manipulators like politicians. Sure enough, during her embed with Papa John, me-obsessed Maeve regressed to the psychological state of a helpless child, clingingly dependent upon the good Daddy - the "other man" in her life - not to mention his generous supply of solicitious aides who provided her with band-aids for her boo-boos. (Think I"m making this up? Read the article.)

Even though you and I may perceive Reston's "journalism" as shoddy to the point of corruption, I'm sure neither her nor her editors think of it that way. Her needy personality and ambition assured her access to one of the most powerful people in the world. And that provided her paper with close=up portraits of the Maverick straight-shooterer. Where's the problem?

The problem is that this isn't reporting as it is commonly understood, but merely rank publicity flacking. Those of us who couldn't care less about McCain's holiday jaunts in the rainforests of Costa Rica are being fed hagiographic bromides rather than facts. It is impossible to get a sense either of the issues or the temperament of the politician.

One can't blame McCain for trying, I suppose, to seduce the press rather than answer questions; it is what powerful people do when questioned. And Reston herself comes across as so pitifully insecure it's hard for me to get too angry at her, either. However, her bosses, who aided and abetted this abusive relationship - abusive, that is, to the readers of the Times who are looking to be informed about the powerful - have a heckuva lot to answer for.

UPDATE: Glenn has more.


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