Tuesday, March 10, 2009

News and narrative

I know I'm not the first person to ever make the point that newspapers tell stories with their headlines. Usually, people take a look at individual stories to make this point. Today, to save you time, I'm going to summarize the story that the whole front page (or main page) is telling, in summary form, so that you don't have to read them. I am doing this because I am bored.

BBC News: We are fucked. Fucked I tell you! Baghdad is still a catastrophe and the oceans are coming. Fast. The market's doing better, though, but that's kind of like saying the Polar bears had a good day. They're still gonna die.

Drudge: Stocks are a little better, on paper, but we are fucked. This is all Obama's fault. He is failing. His message sucks. Pelosi is evil. We are all going to die because Obama doesn't care about terrorists. The end of the free market means the end of freedom. Even chimps are attacking us. Be afraid.

Huffington Post: The Republicans are self-destructing, which is a good thing because they're so evil they tried to kill our own soldiers. The wars are not going particularly well, and Obama's economic team is in some rough waters, but don't worry! Look at the funny pundits! They are so cute and silly and angry! Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart and Ann Coulter and Bill Maher! Haha! They don't like each other! It's like WWF, only they're out of shape, and with the exception of Jon Stewart, slightly stupider than any professional wrestler.

Politico: The Democrats are scary good at everything they do right now. They're like some Orwellian superpower, masterful at manipulating public belief. The Republicans are overwhelmed but tirelessly trying to fight the mystical Democratic power.

The New York Times: Hey! Except for all the death in other countries, it's actually a pretty good day! Obama wants good things done, he might actually get them done, the DOW is going UP today, and China has all kinds of bad news, which is good news for us! Drink up!

Talking Points Memo: Republicans are dumb. They don't know what they're doing. Look at them. Stupids. And if you thought Republican politicians were dumb, look at the Republican pundits. We used to be the best investigative reporting team around, during the Bush Administration, but now that Obama's in power, we're going to spend all our time kicking Republicans while they're down. Because God knows no Obama officials will ever do anything wrong, especially because Democrats have almost all the power (no Supreme Court and no 60 Senators), and we all know people with that much power would never need any investigation.

That is all.

Nerdily yours,


Lightlight said...

Can you make this a regular feature, please? It would a) save me a lot of time and b) present all the news in a vastly more enjoyable format c) point me to the ones I really should/want to read and d) leave me feeling the same mixture of hopeless and depressed that a careful reading of the news leaves me in BUT with more time to wallow in it.

dscribing said...

I agree - regular feature! It's like hip boots for the news slog