The map of me and the world
Posted by aogSunday, 04 March 2007 at 11:09 TrackBack Ping URL

Best of the Web had an interesting bit about Tom Vilsack dropping out of the Presidential race.

Somehow the news got out early. An Associated Press dispatch filed just before noon Eastern Time said:
Vilsack was scheduled to make a formal announcement later in the day. The official spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the Democrat’s statement. [emphasis added]

The Associated Press issued a modification of this later in the day to make it not quite so obvious how they were betraying the trust of the staffer betraying the trust of Vilsack. I am left to wonder two things.

The first is, since this kind of thing happens on regular basis, why staffers continue to leak this way to the press. I presume it’s because the staffer values his own sense of self importance more than any loyalty to the candidate. In this particular case, his job probably isn’t foremost in his mind since the campaign is shutting down, but it is still a bit unseemly to me.

The other thought is whether the AP writer even realized that he was betraying trust. As time goes on, I lean more and more toward the view that the problem isn’t that most Old Media staffers are dishonest, calculating, politically motivated operatives for their (Socialist) ideology, but rather people who are totally lacking in the ability to ratinally introspect and realize how things they do relate to things they say or write.

Sometimes I think it’s the lack of ability to contextualize, but that’s not quite right. It’s not a total lack of introspection, because there seems to be the ability to introspect about feelings. It’s as if it is a form of mental reverse tunnel vision, where the most narrow and most broad contexts are visible, but the middle ground is missing. The closest analogy I can think of isone of those “maps of New York” which magnifiy New York to that it dominates everything else, but still contains the whole world. What’s lost is the middle ground, which is compressed into a nearly invisible thin layer.

So it seems to be with the minions of Old Media — they and their close friends loom large, and the big picture (“war bad”, “environment good”) is always in view, but everything in between is just a tiny, mostly irrelevant detail. Without that, placing your own actions in that context becomes impossible as well.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
David Cohen Sunday, 04 March 2007 at 13:40

I’m not sure what the AP’s betrayal was. It doesn’t say that AP promised not to use the information to pre-empt Vilsack’s announcement.

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 04 March 2007 at 13:58

The AP writer says that the source was anonymous “in order to avoid pre-empting”. I.e., there was a presumption in the communication with the AP writer that the announcement would not be pre-empted. Yet there was the article, pre-empting. That seems a clear betrayal of the original confidence to me.

It might be that the staffer leaked the news to encourage coverage of the actual event, so that staffer may not have been disloyal. But the AP writer clearly indicts himself (and the AP realized this, which explains why they edited that incriminating bit out in the updated version).

Robert Duquette Sunday, 04 March 2007 at 20:41

Who is Tom Vilsack?

Annoying Old Guy Sunday, 04 March 2007 at 20:53

Some poor schlub whose claim on history will be to have furnished me with a nice segue to a post topic.

zatar Wednesday, 04 February 2015 at 05:49

Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the good effort.

Tracked from Political News and Blog Aggregator: Voter Turnout Among the Young Still Lags on 04 March 2007 at 14:48

Getting young people politically motivated is easy - keeping them that way is the trick

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