Presto, scripto: Calling Nocera’s shot!


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.


  1. I think Bob has a good point. However, he overlooked a more pervasive, baseless liberal media narrative That is, Nocera's repeat of the canard that the Tea Party is fueled largely by anger.

    1. Oh really? Let's use Google in an attempt to see. Try Googling, '"tea party" anger' (that is the words tea party in quotes and anger). It results in 5,670,000 results.

      The first 5 results are links to the New York Times. So it's true! The "liberal media" is spreading the canard!

      But wait. The 6th link is to a Redstate post: "Real Tea Party gets Angry!" Go ahead and read it. But do not discount the most important part of it, the comments! Talk about angry people! Seesh.

      Look at the many YouTube posts.

      Spend the next 20-30 minutes or so going over the 5 million references to the Tea Part being angry! Maybe you'll learn something.

    2. There is nothing wrong with being motivated by anger to political action. Both anger (and a bit of hope) motivates the Tea Party and the Occupy movements.

      Another example of people being moved by anger to political action:

    3. g-man, you nailed it! The 5 million references to Tea Part Anger totally disproves that Tea Party Anger is a media narrative. Oh, wait.

    4. Being motivated by anger can mean that one is irrational, in that anger has a negative effect on one's point of view. Anger is more than likely to be based on irrational assumptions, ignorance, and lack of full understanding a situation. An angry person sees not anything but what his anger dictates. An angry person tend to lack perspective and judgement.

      2. Yet, anger can be a valid response to certain events and happenings. I.e. one's anger at being robbed or taken advantage of (or even worse being assaulted, raped, etc.) is legitimate.

      But what is the root of anger, vis-a-vis Tea Party versus OWS?

      I put it to you (all) that the former's anger is based on false assumptions and propaganda; such as Obama is a secret muslim/socialist/communist and not born in the U.S. (John McCain was really not born in the U.S., was he? But nobody cares about that.) Or that the U.S. Government is trying to take your rights away along with your guns and your money.

      The latter's anger is more reality based; i.e. banks really have taken many people's money away, only to be "bailed out" (yes, Obama is implicit in that--Obama sucks on several levels... but that is another story). Many large bank executives have committed fraud and hardly any have been held accountable.

      OWS is against Wall Street! The Tea Party is against government conspriacies. Big fucking difference. (Not that any conservative/republican/right-winger will admit that.)

    5. @ABL:

      "The 5 million references to Tea Part Anger totally disproves that Tea Party Anger is a media narrative. Oh, wait."

      Hmmm. I am not sure what you mean. Let me put on my thinking cap....

      Tea Party anger is either founded or unfounded.

      That there are many people "writing" about said anger means, what? That there are people writing about it or that there is a media narrative? I don't get it. (A mild way of saying that you make no sense.)

      What do you mean by "media narrative" anyway?

      You seem to imply that people writing about Tea Party anger disproves Tea Party anger.

      You surely do not mean to imply that what is written/posted/available via the Internet is soley a "media narrative" and thereby false.

      That there is no unbiased writing on the Internet? That there is only the "media" and that the "media" is inherently "liberal" and thereby false?

      That there is no truth to be found except in, perhaps, comments?

      Weird. Just plain weird.

    6. If you don't know what a media narrative is, perhaps you shouldn't have responded to a post claiming there was a media narrative.

  2. Yep. He called it.

    All we'll get from the media is Ryan as earnest and un-nuanced bright boy, trying to live up to the Tea Party and his late white bread father's dreams. Alternating with Joan Walsh's Ryan as scion of an "Irish Mafia" godfather, playing the peeps.

    Wake us all up in December...

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