Alzheimer's, wealth and fame: This morning's New York Times contains two snapshots of the age.
One comes from David Brooks' latest column. Without citing a source, Brooks describes what some Republican senators thought they saw this week:
"The Republican senators went to the White House and saw a president so repetitive and rambling, some thought he might be suffering from early Alzheimer’s."That's a snapshot from a potentially dangerous time.
The other snapshot concerns Mark Halperin's journalistic career. The values of our modern press corps litter this passage:
KOBLIN AND GRYNBAUM (10/27/17): His pioneering newsletter “The Note,” a political tipsheet that he started at ABC News, established him as an influential figure in the power circles of Washington and New York; who he quoted, and what stories he cited, mattered.Those are Koblin's opinions, of course. But according to that portrait, Halperin's work was dishy, juicy and melodramatic. It suffused our politics with drama, like in a reality show.
But it was his 2010 book “Game Change,” written with John Heilemann, that cemented the Halperin style. A juicy, melodramatic account of the 2008 presidential race, the book was adapted into an Emmy Award-winning HBO movie starring Ed Harris and Julianne Moore.
The book’s success—and the authors’ ability to infuse politics with reality show-like drama—led to contracts with Bloomberg News said to be in the $1 million range. The show Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann developed for Bloomberg, “With All Due Respect,” was a dishy and sometimes whimsical political talk show that failed to attract a wide viewership; it ended after Mr. Trump’s victory.
This led to million dollar contracts and access to power circles. Movie stars appear.
These values have suffused our "journalism" for a good many years, including our "liberal" versions of same. This has helped create a world where Alzheimer's, or the like, might go largely unnoticed during a juicy campaign. Its fruits might be hard to distinguish from the inanity the press corps produced down through the many long years.
As so many "journalists" told us, Al Gore hired a woman to teach him to be a man! Plus, why was he wearing those earth tones?
Did you hear Howard Dean's blood-curdling scream? And good lord! Mitt Romney strapped his Irish setter, Seamus, to the roof of his car! Fifty times!
Remember when Lawrence challenged Mitt's son to s fight? Talking his Dorchester accent? The same accent he brought out last week?
These have been entertainment values. Can you run a large nation this way?
By the way, have you caught Rachel this week? We've found her to be entertaining at times, if perhaps a bit less than precise.