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On Political Reporting

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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You may have missed it earlier, but even if you're only moderately interested in politics, suggests you read Matt Taibbi's (pictured right) enjoyable dissection of the self-important asshat contest that is modern political reporting. Taibbi marvels at the idiocy that largely defines the daily reportage on the presidential campaign, along with the unfortunate Revenge of the Nerds effect that contaminates young reporters on the trail. Given's well-known fondness for a certain Newsweek jackass, we couldn't help but notice Taibbi's description of how writing about "the most meaningless kind of computer-generated horseshit" for even a short period of time can somehow infuse neophyte campaign scribes with a soaring new sense of their own importance: "This same meek rookie you saw bent over a steno book just months ago is suddenly talking about how Hillary Clinton needs to do this, Barack Obama needs to do that—and he's serious! He's not kidding! Next thing you know, he's got an eight-figure book deal and a ten-foot pole up his crack, and he's wearing a tie and loafers to bed. In other words, he's Jonathan Alter."

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