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Hilarious One-Paragraph History of Politico's News-Invention Morning-Win Technique

News

We're now abouteight nine pages into this very long NYT magazine thing about The Politico, and it's mostly the stuff you know about -- the funny cartoon video somebody made, all the reporters who quit, etc. But there's one crucial bit of Win the Morning hilarity we must share with you, as it succinctly describes the entire news process at The Politico, which consists of "make up something, let it bounce around Washington a few hours, and then breathlessly report the official denial."


More recently, Allen asked in his April 10 Playbook: “Good Saturday morning: For brunch convo: Why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the media short lists for the Court?” By Monday, the convo had moved from the brunch table to “Morning Joe” (where the host, Joe Scarborough, advocated for her) and “Today” (where the Republican senator Orrin Hatch mentioned her, too). Later that day, Politico’s Ben Smith quoted a State Department spokesman who “threw some coolish water on the Clinton-for-Scotus buzz in an e-mail.” By then, the cable and blog chatter was fully blown. The White House issued a highly unusual statement that Secretary Clinton would not be nominated. Politico then sent out a “breaking news alert,” and Smith reported that the White House had “hurriedly punctured the trial balloon.” End of convo.

"Convo."

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You all remember the wire mother and cloth mother experiments on attachment from first-year psychology, right? In the 1950s, University of Wisconsin researcher Harry Harlow removed rhesus monkeys from their mothers shortly after birth, and, in various tests, placed them with surrogate "mothers" -- in the most famous comparison, one mother was made of wire mesh, and had a rubber nipple to dispense milk, but the other mother, which had no milk, was made with soft terrycloth and looked at least a little like a mommy monkey. Every single time, the baby monkeys would cling to the soft cloth mothers, going to the wire mother only when absolutely necessary to be fed. (There's a famous photo of one monkey clinging to its cloth mother and leaning waaaay over to nurse from the wire mother. Harlow later placed a wall between the two to prevent that.)

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I was in D.C. last week for the first time since Donald Trump proved that our electoral process is silly. It feels like Vegas now with all the images of Trump around. Then I remembered he has the same job as the guy in the Jefferson Memorial. I tried to rationalize it in my head: Jefferson had unprotected sex with enslaved women. Trump reportedly has unprotected sex with adult film stars who can more or less come and go as they please. I suppose that's an improvement.

But how did we get here? How did our institutions fail us? It's not so much that Trump is an unqualified, racist radish head. He's also ridiculously corrupt.

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