Snot The New York Times
: Todd Purdum on Sunday gives us an incredibly condescending, insulting, snotty analysis of the dirty, rancorous campaign we’ve had: He says that all the vile bile must be OK because voter registration is high.
In short: Mud amuses the masses.
Well, Mr. High-fallutin’ Journalist, could it be instead that voter registration is high because citizens actually care about what is happening in our country and there are crucial issues to care about — even if big media concentrated instead on the mud? Apparently not.
Somewhere along the way between the big money and the big lies, the Swift Boat slash attacks and the farrago of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a conventional wisdom congealed that this was an awful campaign: too much heat, too little light, so much wrong, not enough right. It was long, costly, raw and nasty – and that means no good.
Then why is voter turnout projected to be at its highest in at least 12 years, and perhaps in the last 36? Why are millions of first-time registrants expected to flock to the polls on Tuesday, or cast absentee ballots or vote early? Why have both candidates raised large amounts of small donations, often over the Internet? Why are Republicans vowing to out-knock Democrats in the door-to-door ground game that the Democrats pioneered?
Did you ever think, sir, that you had a direct and causal role in the polarization you lament and in the mud that has brought this campaign down? You concentrated on the horse-race instead of American life. You kept calling us polarized when, in fact, we’re not. You egged on the combatants by writing about them.
A little campaign remorse, sir? Take it up with your East Side shrink.
Of course, no Times analysis of what’s wrong with us, the rabble, would be complete without a swipe at blogs:
If the Internet has been the source of vicious blogs and half-baked rumors, it has also often been a worthy watchdog on the mainstream media, a direct route to the candidates’ records and official Web sites and a means of instantly checking their half-truths and evasions through nonpartisan outlets like FactCheck.org at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center.
And paper is a source of many vicious columnists and half-baked stories. But paper’s OK in the end, eh?
There is one wisp of common sense in the story and it comes from this man:
This election “has all sorts of loaded issues from the real world, especially the war,” said Curtis Gans, director of the nonpartisan Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. “I don’t think even people who are undecided feel neutral. They feel torn between a president they don’t really want to re-elect and a candidate they’re not sure is big enough to be commander in chief in wartime.”
I’d say we’re pretty much united in not liking either candidate and not liking the way the campaign has been executed and in not liking the way it has been covered… but we, the people, still know that this is an important time in our history and we have a responsibility to act.
Give us credit for that, Todd S. Purdum, give us credit for caring.