Friday, September 26, 2008

Quote of the Day - 100% Content-Free News Edition

Whether or not you agree with what Senator John McCain did and is doing, there's general agreement on this: it could help or hurt his presidential hopes.
--Wolf Blitzer
The clip is worth watching to see Toobin call bullshit on the bogus campaign 'suspension', but that first line from Wolf made me laugh out loud--partly because it reminded me of an A.J. Liebling essay I just read called "Death on the One Hand", about news reaction to Stalin's slow death. It's brilliant skewering of content-free "on the one hand this, and on the other hand that" coverage in a relative news vacuum, and it's even more relevant today as 24-hour cable news creates a much larger news hole to fill. An excerpt:
Inconsiderate to the last, Josef Stalin, a man who never had to meet a deadline, had the bad taste to die in installments....

The annoying hiatus that the old Bolshevik permitted to intervene between his syncope and his demise put a strain on even the ruggedest professional seers, who had to start explaining the significance of his death before he had actually died and then keep on inventing exegeses until he was in his tomb. Altogether, their ordeal lasted a full week, but they stood it better than their readers.