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The [Monday] Papers

When Kellyanne Conway was still Kellyanne Fitzpatrick:

"The new rules are that there are no rules," said Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, who was Dan Quayle's pollster. "The only job left on the market in today's culture that has no criteria is running for president. It's how popular do you seem to be. How much are people buzzing about you."

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Please stop me if you've heard this one:

So far, aides say, the laugh factor is working just fine in Mr. Quayle's favor. Among likely Iowa caucus-goers, 61% agree with the statement, "The mainstream media are still making fun of him, but that tells me he's fighting for real people like me," says pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick.

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She became Kellyanne Conway when she married George Conway, who joined with some conspiracy theorist Chicago lawyers to press Paula Jones's case against Bill Clinton, which eventually led to Monica Lewinsky.

"Conway wanted his role kept hidden as well, because his New York law firm, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, included influential Democrats like Bernard W. Nussbaum, a former White House counsel. Conway's name does not appear on any billing records," the New York Times reported in 1999.

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And now, she's famous:

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On Conway's partner in truth crimes Sean Spicer:

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Related, the thread that starts here:

The same is true of reporters who ask these folks for comment - especially after they've lied to them. And that's what spin is, whether done cleverly or clumsily. It's twisting the truth, often in unfathomable directions. And getting paid handsomely to do so.

And yet, these folks - along with others in the political-media ecosystem like strategists and consultants - keep getting calls from reporters seeking their comments and "analysis." Dazed and confused readers are left to sort through the resulting battle of unmediated agenda-driven claims.

Why? Because some reporters are afraid to write a story without those kinds of comments, and can't think of any other way to bring context and argument to their pieces; because some editors insist that their reporters include these folks in their stories; and because it's considered part of the "game" in which journalists believe the legitimate job of public relations professionals, strategists, consultants, surrogates, and public officials themselves is to try to spin, deflect, hide and twist the truth, while their job is to (gently) spar with those efforts, and at the end of the day everyone has done their job and they can all be friends. That's why some of us so often describe the proceedings as a play being put on every day, including journalists in the role of journalists.

How many times have I heard reporters and editors in newsrooms say, "That's what they're supposed to do," and "That's what they have to say."

No. They're supposed to tell the truth. No one's job is to lie. That's not being naive, that's refusing to normalize deceit. Once you do that, you've moved from the value system of journalism to the (often truth-mangling) value systems of those we cover, and then you're no longer doing journalism. We have our own metrics.

It's like not allowing corruption to be normalized; stay at ground zero and maintain your outrage, instead of being persuaded that "everybody does it" and "it's not a big deal" and thus having the very people you are responsible for holding to account shifting the standards in their favor as you unmoor yourself from the most basic foundation of our profession.

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Truth. We normalized deceit in this business a long time ago.

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But also, keep your eye on the ball:

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The Real Forgotten Americans
Campaign events tell the real story of who's forgotten and who isn't, and the verdict is clear: White working-class voters in the Rust Belt are far from forgotten, but impoverished areas that have no Electoral College value are completely ignored.

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Is Glencoe Slickster Our New Skip Bayless?
Annoying start for The Score's new host. On The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #137. With awesome Show Notes.

Also on this week's episode: Setting The Super Bowl Table; The Sad Sack Exchange; Bears Drafting Too High!; Cubs' Neverending Caravan; Hall Of Fame Shame; Bulls On Verge Of . . . Something; and Concern Trolling The Blackhawks.

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SportsMonday: See Ya Seabrook
If the Hawks want to make a trade that will give their top two lines a real boost, they'll almost certainly have to move a very good player. That and the fact they have a surplus of defensemen means . . .

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "The Album Leaf combines digital and organic instruments to make a unique sound. Bandleader Jimmy LaValle joins Jim and Greg to talk about the importance of giving electronic music a live experience and how the Album Leaf grew from a side project into a full time gig. Plus, reviews of the new albums from The Flaming Lips and The xx."

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BeachBook

* People Keep Making Hilarious Edits To Sean Spicer's Wikipedia Page.

1.5 million of them.

* A Former Bank CEO Named His Boat "Overdraft." Now The Bank Is In Hot Water Over Its Fees.

Lock him up.

* Highway Spill Of Illinois-Made Skittles Shrouded In Mystery.

Even more weird: Only the red ones.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

When you've lost the dictionary, you've lost America.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Alt-wrong.



Permalink

Posted on January 23, 2017


MUSIC - The Voice Of Suka.
TV - Sean Spicer At The Emmys.
POLITICS - Hurricanes And Ed Reform.
SPORTS - Bears: From Moral Victory To Immoral Loss.

BOOKS - A Bloody Decade Of The iPhone.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Who Is Stealing Wisconsin's Birch?


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