Name-calling as journalism

“Bombastic West rakes In cash” — that’s the title Politico gives to its story about how Republican Allen West, a former Army colonel who is challenging for a congressional seat in Florida, raised a remarkable $1.4 million in the second quarter of 2010.
Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt fails to explain why he considers West bombastic. Instead, he notes that West has been endorsed by Sarah Palin and that a speech he gave at Tea Party event has received two million views on YouTube. Enough said, if you’re a leftist writing for leftists.
I heard West speak back in January. I found his talk compelling, patriotic and at times fiery, but not bombastic. In any case, there were no Greek pillars on the stage.
Affixing judgmental adjectives to candidates strikes me as a ground-breaking development in poltical reporting. Until now, the liberal MSM has been slightly more subtle. But these are desperate political times for the left, and readers can no longer be trusted to draw their own conclusions no matter how far a reporter leads them.
The possibilities for this sort of journalism seem endless, and Isenstadt is eager to explore them. In the same piece, he calls Michelle Bachmann “inflammatory.” But Democrat Allen Grayson — who said that “the Republican health care plan is this: ‘Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly'” and then apologized “to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust [the absence of Obamacare] in America” — is neither bombastic nor inflammatory. He is merely “caustic.”
As to the West-Klein race, Politico notes that West lost to Klein by 10 point margin in 2008, while being outspent by about $1.8 million. In a better year, and with ample funding, West would appear to have a shot, even though the district leans Democratic.
Your can contribute to West’s campaign here.


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