Bruni reads colleague’s mind: We’ll say one thing for the Times’ Frank Bruni:
He does know the pundit corps’ scripts.
This morning, in his latest column, Bruni describes a standard theme in the coverage of Candidate Ryan. An “origin story” is already out there, Bruni correctly said:
BRUNI (8/14/12): Mere days since he loped to the microphone on the U.S.S. Wisconsin, necktie off and cowlick flying high, we have an origin story. When he was 16, his father died, and from the soil of grief and dislocation, a rugged individualism bloomed. He grew up fast and pressed the accelerator on his ambitions, mindful that several generations of Ryan men had died before reaching 60.It doesn’t take long for the mainstream press to memorize Standard Stories. Directly opposite Bruni in today’s hard-copy Times, Joe Nocera recites that very same origin story—and he says it’s inspiring:
NOCERA (8/14/12): Ryan is, in many ways, the perfect Tea Party standard-bearer. He is likable, engaging, wonkish and smart. Although the Tea Party is fueled largely by anger, Ryan comes across as a firebrand without the heat. His personal story—with the death of his father forcing him to become self-reliant early in life—is inspiring. He is willing to sit down and talk to anyone, friend or foe, about his ideas. He has the ability to make his radical ideas sound reasonable.Presto, scripto! Right there on today’s op-ed page, Bruni calls Nocera’s shot!
Bruni said the script was out. Nocera typed it right up.
Is that origin story “inspiring?” Not necessarily, no. The amazingly sour and hateful Joan Walsh tells that story a whole different way, spreading resentment all through our sad tribe, which now seems to be her full-time mission. Walsh has become as big a hack as those who type that origin story in the Standard Approved Scripted Way.
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! Joan had to go to Wisconsin!
Is that origin story inspiring? If so, we’re even more inspiring than Ryan! Our own father died when we were 11—on our birthday, no less! That makes us more inspiring than Ryan by a bit more than five years!
That origin story is a novel, a novel Nocera typed right up. This is the way the boys and girls work, through strings of Approved Standard Tales.