The news has been more ludicrous than usual lately, and at times I have found myself wondering whether it's all a big practical joke. You know how, on or around April 1, newspapers sometimes put out an "April Fool's Edition" with one or more hoax stories? I think we're in the middle of a monthlong version of that.
Surely serious news outlets didn't fall for the AEI's PR trap and frame Cheney and Obama's nearly simultaneous but not-at-all equivalent speeches as a "debate" or a "competition"... did they? Professional journalists wouldn't really repeat Cheney's bald-faced lies and self-contradictions as though they were legitimate criticisms... would they? The notion that the word "empathy" is some kind of sinister "code" wouldn't be repeated with a straight face in the national news... would it? The accusation that Sonia Sotomayor is a "reverse-racist" would be beneath the dignity of all but the most raving lunatics... wouldn't it? The Associated Press would never run a "news analysis" piece this hacky and laughable, right? And so on and so on.
The moment I figured out that this was all a cosmic joke came a few days ago, when I heard a television news reader announce, very seriously, that some relatives of the infamous "Jon & Kate" are concerned that the couple "may be exploiting their children."
That made me laugh out loud. Of course they're exploiting their children! They star in a reality show about how they have a lot of small kids. That's the whole show. That's what they're famous for: they let cameras follow them around when they're with their kids. The only reason the show isn't called Jon & Kate Exploit Their Eight Children is that it doesn't rhyme (and also gives away too much of the "plot").
Are you seriously just figuring this out now, concerned relatives? Because if I were a news analyst, I would be pitching another story. Here's the headline: "Concerned Relatives of Jon & Kate Exploiting the Increased Attention Being Paid to Jon & Kate as a Consequence of Their Having Spent the Last Five Years Exploiting Their Children." I mean, come ON.