My least favorite genre of what passes for “political analysis” these days is this thing where, instead of actually analyzing the political content of news events and helping readers understand the situation, journalists put on the Dumbass Hat, and try to divine what people who don’t understand or didn’t read the story will make of it.
This vapid guest column over at PoliticsPA by Larry Kane, Dean of Philadelphia Anchors, is a triumph of the genre:
The claim in the story is dramatic: that Pennsylvania’s number one law enforcer dropped the investigation, begun by one of the most respected corruption prosecutors in the state’s history, because she says it was aimed at African American lawmakers, a claim that may, according to Inquirer reporters, be compromised by other points of view, of which there are many in this story.
*May* be compromised? This is when a normal analysis or column would launch into an evaluation of the details and the quality of both sides’ arguments, and help the reader sort out who has the stronger claim on the truth.
But my man Larry’s interest in the actual meat of the story stops right there, because:
Who is right in this story may not be the main point, politically. The story itself has motivated two possible scenarios: The embattled Governor, Tom Corbett, may now have a potent argument in his fall campaign, that a Democrat was protecting Democrats in the big city. The second scenario is more immediate. Will this force the Democratic Candidates for Governor to speak out about the report, and where will that go?
Damn, only two possible scenarios?
What about a third scenario where Corbett campaign arguments that “a Democrat was protecting Democrats in the big city” are debunked by journalists noting that a majority of the public corruption cases brought by Kane involve members of her own political party?
Or a fourth scenario where damning details unearthed in Kane’s Sandusky probe destroy Frank Fina and Tom Corbett’s reputations, and the lame gesturing toward the cancelled sting operation fails to move public opinion like so much Benghazi.
Larry closes it out in the style of a man forgetting to wipe his ass before pulling up his pants. “Both sides have their arguments” so why bother sorting out who’s right? Goodbye!
The newspaper piece is fascinating. Both sides have their arguments, but the reactions from the state lawmakers. who have not been charged with any crime, are tepid at best. The memories seem to be blurred in some of the reactions.
One thing is for sure. The Attorney General may think about a more detailed explanation before the banner headline and the story within, threatens to unravel her party in a year when her party seems to be riding high.
It is a mystery to me why Larry Ceisler thinks this kind of junk writing enhances the status of his publication, even if it does come from a news anchor with pretty man hair. Larry Kane offers us zero new information, and adds zero analytical value to anything Vincent J. Smith wrote in his PoliticsPA piece. It’s not even actually clear that he read the original Inquirer story before opining on it.