The Silly Season – Highbrow Journalist Edition

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, An Independent Viewpoint, In the Press, Silly Season, The IVA Angle

obama silly season

Depending on who you ask, the “silly season,” in which the mainstream media, campaign journalism and news coverage morphs into its own sideshow, has officially started, potentially ended, or is in full swing. As an Independent news source in every meaning of the word, we’re keenly aware of the silly season phenomenon and the resulting ridiculous political media stories that come with the territory. With a keen eye for all things ridiculous, gaffe, and exaggeration, we’ll endeavor to bring you the silly season’s silliest moments over the course of the 2012 campaign – Because let’s face it, there is no silly “season” in today’s political media – it’s just a constant state of existence that the reader has to take for granted.

For IVA’s inaugural edition of “The Silly Season” feature, here are five recent quotes from political journalists which exemplify the Silly Season phenomenon. Prepare yourself for hyperbole, metaphor, and all of the resulting silliness (or lack thereof):

“Watching this campaign unfold reaffirms how much it would have benefitted from a serious, centrist third-party challenger… But there will be no third-party candidate, so the only hope is getting Obama to raise his game.” Thomas Friedman, New York Times

For Mr. Friedman’s insistence on continuing to write pieces emphasizing third party challengers for president after the failure of American’s Elect (on which he lavishly heaped praises), IVA rates Friedman’s column Summarily Silly

“Goodness. Four more months of this campaign and we will all be unhinged.” Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

For Mr. Krauthammer’s ironic use of hyperbole during a piece about the Silly Season itself, IVA rates this commentary Moderately Silly.

“Some might view the increase in independents and swing voters as a good thing. We do not. That’s because, given the way that our political system works, these voters have little input and influence in selecting candidates for office and even less in the policy making process. They are basically disenfranchised.” Ed Crego, George Muñoz, and Frank Islam, Huffington Post

For making a glaringly counterfactual statement about independent voters, albeit in a good article about the need for reforming closed primaries, IVA rates this three headed monster Off The Charts Silly.“There have been small-ball presidential campaigns before, but veteran strategists and observers agree this race is reaching a record degree of triviality. Nothing previously can compare with a race being fought hour by hour in 140-character Twitter increments and blink-and-you-miss-it cable segments. Not to mention an endless flood of caustic television ads… Blame the campaign strategist, blame the operatives, blame the reporters. They know it’s a drag. And they know they’re responsible.” Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns, Politico

For Burns & Haberman’s ability to admit that they’re partially responsible for Silly Season, but simultaneously making this argument in a column entitled “The 2012 Campaign is the Smallest Ever“, IVA rates this article #Silly.

“We are in the middle of another tight presidential election where the contrast between the candidates is sharp, but the discourse is dull. That’s the problem…Pundits pick over every strategic or tactical machination — they break it down, comb through it and analyze it to no end. These maneuvers are always part of a war on something sacred: women, religion, the middle-class, job creators, logic, freedom.”  - Charles M. Blow, New York Times

For Mr. Blow’s accurate characterization of the Silly Season, IVA rates this statement Not Silly.


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