mercredi 28 septembre 2011

This is the problem, right here

"America's best reality show" -- that's the subheading of Newsweek's cover story this week about the race for the Republican presidential nomination. As Chris Christie continues his will-he-or-won't-he fan dance and Michele Bachmann continues to spout whatever batshit crazy pops into her head and the right wing pundit/money axis works frantically to dismantle the Perry Monster that they themselves created, it's perhaps tempting to write about this contest the way you would musings about whether Coach or Ozzy will be able to stay in the game, and whether the producers will be able to keep a lid on the clearly psychopathic Brandon Hantz before he rapes and machete-murders the Evil Temptress Mikaylah for having the audacity to wear a bikini in the south Pacific and make his Christian wee-wee tingle.

But this is what it's become, hasn't it? In a contest that's seen one freak after another throw a hat into the ring, it's tempting to liken them to some of the worst characters on reality television. The problem with so-called "serious journalists" treating it that way (and it's questionable whether anyone writing for the Daily Beastified Newsweek can still be considered a serious journalist) is that in the sheer freakshowiness of it all, it's easy to forget that the office being sought is that of the most powerful leader in the world -- a leader of a country and a world that is currently dealing with huge problems with which it requires both mind and guts to deal. When you turn this into Survivor: Reagan Library or Real Rich Guys of the Texas Oilfields or D.C. Idol, it's all to easy for some nitwit to end up with a job that's confounded far greater men than any of these lunatics currently running on the GOP side. Reality TV is for media whores. When we put the fate of the nation into people like this, we accelerate our already alarmingly fast pace down to oblivion.

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