So says the New York Times: We're not sure when we've seen more bad journalism than we've seen in the past four days.
It's like they have no basic skills at all. We'll get to as much of this mess as we can in the next few days.
That said, we thought we'd start with one exchange that made the analysts howl. It involved remarks by Ashley Parker of the New York Times.
When it comes to political coverage, does any other major new org have such a fatuous culture? On yesterday morning's Mediabuzz, Howard Kurtz interviewed three media sources about the recent wife-sliming behavior which has largely come from Candidate Trump.
Also that super-PAC's photo of Melania Trump! And that completely unsourced National Enquirer "report!"
Kurtz threw to Parker first. He got what he should have expected:
KURTZ (3/27/16): Joining us now to analyze the coverage of this increasingly slimy campaign:To watch the whole segment, click here.
Gayle Trotter, a commentator who writes for The Daily Caller and The Hill; Ashley Parker, who covers Donald Trump for The New York Times; and Julie Roginsky, a Fox News contributor and a co-host of Outnumbered.
Ashley, ordinarily I would say, "Wow, this is really low-rent stuff." But with the two front-runners sliming each other, how can journalists resist?
PARKER: Yes, exactly. I mean, it became part of the discussion and they're going back-and-forth and I think it is a little salacious, and a little fun. But it also sort of speaks–
KURTZ: You admit that it's fun?
PARKER: I admit that it's fun. Not necessarily good for democracy, but fun. And, you know, and it also sort of speaks to, as Senator Cruz has made the point, it speaks to character and it speaks to what voters are looking for...
At the Times, this low-rent bullshit is fun. It also "speaks to what voters are looking for," Parker somewhat far-fetchedly said.
We'll offer what follows as a pet peeve, but also as a basic observation. What's the dumbest thing our "journalists" do? The dumbest thing our journalists do is treat this sort of brain-rot as "fun."
Needless to say, there was Parker, doing just that! For Parker, this is fun!
Parker got her start at the Times as Maureen Dowd's "research assistant," whatever that could possibly mean. Yesterday, she called to mind Katherine Boo's warning from 1992:
Beware of that "Creeping Dowdism," Katherine Boo presciently said.
We're constantly amazed by the fatuous outlook of Times campaign reporters. Yesterday, it took the scribe from The Daily Caller to set poor Parker straight:
KURTZ: So Gayle, which is the more important story among these competing themes for the press? Trump springing to the defense of his wife, blaming Cruz for a $300 ad by this small independent PAC that has nothing to do with the Cruz campaign? Or Cruz, with a soundbite that we've now seen ten thousand times, calling Donald a "sniveling coward" in front of the cameras?We've actually reached this point! We've reached the point where The Daily Caller adopts the more serious point of view, as compared to the fatuous Times.
TROTTER: Well, I disagree with Ashley. I'd say this coverage is not fun and that it demonstrates asymmetrical warfare by Donald Trump. And you have those things that the media can be reporting on, those three different things–
KURTZ: So you're embarrassed by the coverage, I would say?
TROTTER: I would say I'm disheartened by the coverage...
Because of its status, the New York Times can pretty much hire any reporter it wants. It chooses to hire the fatuous fops who litter its campaign staff.
Presumably, they're hired to extend the newspaper's culture, a fatuous culture we were warned about many years in the past.
Recent work has been amazingly bad at many major orgs. It's like they have no skills at all. We'll get to as much of this disheartening work as we can.