Making out a small case study in media bias, GQ found it remarkably difficult to identify an even mix of crazy Democrats and Republicans in its survey of “The 20 craziest politicians.” Seventeen of the 20 spots went to Republicans.
In the New York Post Kyle Smith arrives to lend a hand. He identifies 16 crazy Dems overlooked by GQ. Vermont’s Democrat Bernie Sanders makes the list; Smith uses this great throwaway line to introduce Sanders to the list: “Senate Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (a Democrat who identifies as a Socialist, in a reversal of the usual custom).”
I appreciate Smith’s witty effort to interject some fairness here. Moreover, his skills as a diagnostician exceed GQ’s by about 100 to one. When it comes to Democratic and Republican nuts, however, lists like GQ’s mislead even when done right. As Smith’s list suggests, the Democrats have mainstreamed political craziness; they have defined deviancy down. Even a bipartisan list gives new meaning to the problem of false equivalence.
CORRECTION: Struggling with adult onset ADD, I originally wrote that the GQ list was imbalanced against Democrats rather than Republicans.