This Nation column by Eric Alterman is required reading for those troubled by the media’s coverage of presidential campaigns. Alterman trenchantly writes: “This orgy of mindlessness was possible only because of the media’s refusal to take the Republican radicalization seriously. This refusal has, in turn, invited a virtual tsunami of informational and ideological sewage to swamp America’s political ecosystem for much of the election season, with barely a hint of truth-telling to disinfect it. Recall that in August of 2011, a reported 800 journalists descended on the meaningless Ames, Iowa, straw poll, the vast majority proving willing to pretend that the mentally disturbed Michele Bachmann might one day be president of the United States. During Bachmann’s moment in the sun, she was able to claim that the founding fathers ended slavery, that the Revolutionary War began in New Hampshire, and that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. From Bachmann to Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich to Rick Santorum, with each new Republican front-runner, the crazy train rolled on unimpeded by much in the way of reality checks from those charged with ensuring the honesty and integrity of America’s political debate.” More here – The Mainstream Media’s Trivial Pursuit of Campaign 2012
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