Tom Edsall sentences Mitt Romney – and, by implication, the stenographic press that has allowed him to get away with refusing to make any politically incriminating statements.
And Edsall is right: if Slinky does get away with it, no candidate will need to even pretend to tell the truth, ever again.
I had assumed that calling the Republicans enemies of the Enlightenment meant relegating them to minority status. Maybe not.
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman
12 thoughts on ““I contemptuously refuse to answer the question on the grounds that it might cost me votes.””
Not to be too post-partisan, but if Romney gets away with it the press will react by calling out every questionable statement by 2016’s Democratic nominee.
A minor quibble, perhaps, but a stenographic press might actually be an improvement over what we’ve got now; We’d have more complete, in context quotes, instead of all these sentence fragments and paraphrases. You might like the media to take issue with what politicians say, but at a minimum they ought to be relating what the politicians actually said, instead of getting in the way of voters learning what candidates had to say.
Does “press” include the Rush Limbaugh, Stephanie Miller, Glen Beck, etc?
It’s very, very tempting to put the worst possible slant on folks you disagree with. Its hard for commenters here (wink, wink).
Does “press” include every time a spin-man gets on CNN and carefully elides certain bits?
Yeah, it includes them. Fragmentary quotes are endemic. Stenography would be an improvement over this. I’ve seen articles in seemingly mainstream outlets that had quotes consisting of one word, with the remainder being a paraphrase. It stinks.
Brett – Yours is an interesting point. And it might be “third way” and non-anxiety inducing enough (to the so-called media) to actually gain traction. Plus, it gives reporters/outlets worried about blowback from the source (looking at Team Red here) failsafe cover – it’s their own words, after all. I like it.
I absolutely agree with Brett.
When I got interested in politics, Eisenhower was running against Stevenson. They made actual speeches, in which they advocated actual policies, with actual well-thought-out paragraphs, written in advance and fine-tuned by wordsmiths and policy advisors before they delivered them in public.
And then the press, God bless them, reported the actual text of the actual speeches, so we could read them, study them, and try to make up our minds in an informed way. And on the editorial pages, the press commented on the speeches, and the candidates, in clearly defined *commentary.*
Lordy, don’tcha hate it when old-timers start to get nostalgic?
A minor quibble, perhaps, but a stenographic press might actually be an improvement over what weâ€™ve got now
Yep. Marketplace fail.
If Mitt Romney wins, Matt Yglesias is going to be Just Fine. But if Mitt begins to really harm the middle and poor, will Yglesias start donating to charity until it really, truly hurts? Maybe. Maybe he’ll get his family to sell off that Maine vacation property and donate it to help the poor. Will he be able to persuade huge numbers of his colleagues to give ’til it hurts? No.
If Mitt Romney wins, Matt Yglesias is going to be Just Fine. But if Mitt begins to really harm the middle and poor, will Yglesias start donating to charity until it really, truly hurts? Maybe. Maybe he’ll get his family to sell off that Maine vacation property and donate the proceeds to help the poor. Will he be able to persuade huge numbers of his colleagues to give ’til it hurts? No.
I fail to see how either of these identical comments was relevant to this post.
Sorry, you’re right. I just couldn’t hold it in. Won’t do it again.
Maybe reporters are worried that Tagg Romney will punch them in the face.
Nah. He looks soft. Probably would need even need more help holding down his victim than his dad needed to shear that kid in prep school…
I suspect we all know why: They want a horse race.
These pull from Taibbi struck me as infinitely wise:
By the way, I notice Taibbi is liveblogging tonight’s debate. Interesting…
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