Narrative criticism, NYT style

Almost unbelieveable.

Finally, she can move to Pennsylvania. It’s a long time before April 22nd. Over the next few weeks, media interest in that primary will build and build. Obama’s string of primary victories will recede into the deepest recesses of memory. Pennsylvania will begin to look like the crucial deciding state and a win there will carry climactic weight. We are used to narratives in which the climax comes at the end of the story, not the middle.

Some small part of me wishes that the media really isn’t interested in dragging the Democratic primaries out, but it only takes about 30 seconds to find something like this article. If I’m reading this correctly, according to Brooks, Obama’s insurmountable pledged delegate lead doesn’t matter – the media will make Pennsylvania’s primary the deciding contest with “climactic weight” because “we are used to narratives in which the climax comes at the end of the story…”

Oh! Thank you, dear media, the paragons of supposedly objective journalism! What would we, the poor unwashed masses of America, do without you to tell us what the proper story will be! What about reporting that Clinton has virtually zilch chance on paper to win this thing clean, with only 600-odd delegates to go? Aren’t cold facts of more interest to the public, more so than having a properly juicy narrative unfold?

The results of the primaries don’t upset me nearly as much as the difficulty in finding reasonably unbiased reports of what is going on. I can only imagine how useless the information is that the candidates have. Right now, Clinton’s advisors seem to have her safely tucked away in a parallel universe where the delegate math adds up. That particular pocket universe is going to be great fodder for the political rhetoricans once this is over.

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