Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You dirty moderate!

This from the Washington Post:

"[Arkansas Liet. Gov Bill] Halter has attacked [Sen. Blanche] Lincoln for her moderation -- particularly on health care."

(Halter is challenging Lincoln in the Democratic senatorial primary in Arkansas.)

Reporters everywhere are falling all over themselves to expand the Manichean duality into a threesome: "left-leaning", "conservative" and "moderate." Damn the idiocy: full speed ahead! (See the blog on Moderation for another example.)

Thus, on healthcare reform, the mindless reporters label the Republican 100% opposition as conservative -- as in let's conserve our birthright of expensive and generally mediocre-in-outcome healthcare -- and the Democratic efforts as "left-leaning." The handful of Democrats who oppose healthcare reform, or want to bargain with it to obtain special dispensations for themselves or some of their constituencies, are labelled "moderate." This has no meaning. Is this pitiful excuse for writing what they teach in modern journalism schools?

If this were PBS we could have a contest: expand traditional dichotomies into threesomes. Send in your entries. E.g. "fish", "cut bait", "be moderate." Or: "Mark Sanford", "Jenny Sanford" and "Maria Belen Chapur." I'm sure you can do better.

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