Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy New Year to hacks: the Spy does all your work in 2019!

Editors' Note:  Always eager to be of assistance to the hard-working members of the Fourth Estate, and also the usual generators of conventional wisdom and useless inside information, the Spy is pleased to present its complete list of political stories all journalists will be reporting on throughout the year.  We helped the working press get through last summer with just six easy stories.  This year, hacks can just cycle among the evergreen morsels presented below and never have to do any thinking ever again, except, if you are a male gasbag on cable news, wondering if you'll look less fat if you don't shave (the answer, by the way, is no).  You're welcome!

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

1.  The Democratic field: why can't women be as likable as Bernie?


Never work again with these nine great content tips!
 There are so many easy stories to write about the Democratic Presidential race, you'll never have to traipse through a cold barn in Iowa or some greasy spoon in in Stuchisville, New Hampshire (the two almost all white states that will decide which candidate most excites the multi-cultural Democratic base).

But make sure you're writing the right story.  Here's how to decide: does the candidate in question have a uterus?  If so, go with likability.  Quote unnamed (male) sources saying that the women in question is too shrill, too strident, too much like Hillary Clinton.  Quote women worrying that any woman candidate will be shafted by the media like Hillary.  (This is a meta-winner, because by so quoting you're doing the shafting!).

Let's say the candidate has a prostate (and given the age of most in this category, you can bet it's the size of a softball).  Then by definition he's a favorite with great appeal to – someone or another.  If it's Bernie, it's whatever base of malcontents supported him last time.  If it's Joe, it's those salt-of-the-earth turd miners in Pennsylvania who voted for a corrupt bigot who's been shafting them every day since Inauguration.  If it's Beto, omigod, it's Beto!  He's so dreamy!  Whether he is in fact dreamier than anyone else of any gender need not be considered because – you just told us, he's so dreamy.

At least for the first eight months of 2019 you can write about how with such a crowded field will anyone break out?  (The answer of course is that at some point early in 2020 someone will win in Iowa and/or New Hampshire.)

The story about whether the leading contenders are too liberal to appeal to those turd miners can wait until 2020.  Just kidding: it's never too early to claim that a Democrat who thinks that everyone should have access to the popular single-payer heath insurance scheme used successfully by geezers for 50 years is “too radical” to be elected.

2.  Dems in disarray!

This story worked great in 2018 until it didn't, because it turned that Dems were in broad agreement over their priorities, including ensuring health care for all, reforming a corrupt political system, and protecting women, minorities, and the environment.

Does that mean you as a hack shouldn't trot out the same tired bushwah in 2019?  If you had to ask, you're not Maureen Dowd!  It's always open season for Dems in Disarray especially now that there are a lot of them and they may not agree on everything, at least until Nancy Pelosi cracks the whip and gets bills out of the House.

Fear not: even if they aren't in disarray, you can try to create some.  Take a young progressive Democrat, preferably a woman, even better if she's from traditionally unrepresented group.  She'll probably say something pretty direct.  Republicans will whip up the fake outrage machine and then you can ask older white male Democrats if they agree with the use of swear words by someone who isn't the President (like U Bum) or Vice President (like Dick Cheney).

3.  Why won't Dems compromise?

This one was also a reliable space-filler in 2018, but it's already riding high on cable news with the Government shut down because Pres U Bum didn't want to offend a drug-addled bigot with a dying radio show.  Given the Presidential temper tantrum, the obvious question is of course why won't Democrats compromise by giving him some money for a worthless monument to bigotry.  Obvious to cable news bloviators, that is.

To Democrats everywhere, the question is idiotic.  They figure that the Tangerine-Faced Grifter will at some point either have to change his own diaper or have Uncle Mitch change it for him.  They see that Americans understand that this cheesy extortion racket is nothing more than reality TV for white hatemongers, or, as they are uniformly referred to in the media, the President's base.  They also enjoy the spectacle of Senate Republicans being slowly spit-roasted as the government grinds to a halt, including those bits of it (like the TSA) that serve the interests of rich white men.

4.  Republicans stand up to President

As the U Bum regime crumbles under the weight of current and future indictments, look for an endless series of desperate reports of Republicans who are standing up to the corrupt Russian agent in the White House.  These Profiles in Courage will highlight any glimmer of independence no matter how weak (whiny op-eds and Tweets are good exemplars) or besides the point (look at Republicans pretending to defy the President on, wait for it, Yemen).

None of it will turn out to be worth jack s*** of course as long as the mouth-breathing white Republican base continues to believe that Pres U Bum is just this close to breaking wide open a child prostitution ring hidden in James Comey's garden shed or anywhere other than the Florida mansion housing the child rapist whose parties the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief eagerly attended.

Does anyone think that any Republican legislator facing a 2020 primary will dare to enrage the vast majority of his (or as we say in Maine, her) party by pointing out that the Emperor is not only naked, but being led around on a leash by Vladimir Putin?  And if you do, why?

In particular, if you're waiting for Wilfred M. Romney to defy his President in any meaningful way, then you're probably still waiting for him to take his dog off the roof of his car.

5.  White House in chaos


No chaos here!  Just top people!
Here's a story that's been true since January 20, 2017, but didn't get much traction until late last year, when hacks finally noticed that the departure of all those studly generals had left the Executive Branch unable to function.  We don't know if the sudden departure of white men led to this realization, or if it was the depleted White House press operation failing to respond to reporters' urgent requests for explanation of U Bum's latest whoppers but this narrative, which unlike those above is true, has become firmly established.

This is why you have press briefings every day, idiots.  If you don't, and you don't respond to reporters' emails then they have nothing to write about other than chaos.  The story is always energized by the anonymous quotes of some consigliere to master bureaucratic assassins like John Bolton or idiotic related f***-ups like Jared and Ivanka.  You'll know who's leaking by the quarterly Sunday think pieces about how, e.g., Jared is working behind the scenes to restore order (even though this ludicrously unqualified grifter can't do something as simple as file his financial reports without 39 revisions).

6.  Volatility on Wall Street

Looked at your 401k lately?  Reporters sure have, and they're not happy.  Will the market crater?  Recover?  Both?  Neither?  No one knows, but that won't stop a torrent of bs with every market move in excess of 100 points on the Dow Jones (itself a useless indicator ignored by investment professionals).

“Volatility” is a property of investments that do not have a fixed value.  Their value goes up and down.  They always have.  They always will.  When their value increases, that is taken as the natural order of things.  When their value declines, the anguished question is why?  You can find whoever you want to blame whatever you want:  noted fake-economist Larry Kudlow will invariably blame Democrats and assure us that the market will make new highs as soon as rich people are relieved of all taxes.  More reality-based experts will point the finger at tariffs, the slowing Chinese economy, and lack of real wage growth among America's underpaid working class.  But if you have to work more than 20 minutes to generate 750 words or a six-minute D Block on the economy you're not ready for cable prime time.

7.  Inexperienced young Democrats need to listen to their elders


Young Democrats need guidance
Have you noticed there are a lot of fresh-faced young Democrats, many female and of color, in Washington?  It's hard not to, given the attention they are getting both from Republican non-news sources like Fox and even from more mainstream sources looking for pretty young women to patronize.

The assault on these new faces began even before they took the oath of office. Harvard's worthless Institute of Politics brought in debased corrupt grifters like Gary Cohn to tell them they didn't know squat about Washington, from which he was ejected in disgrace.  Now they are being told that some of their ideas are so far-out as to be unworthy of discussion.  A 70% marginal tax rate on incomes above $10,000,000?  That's unrealistic, although rates that high and higher prevailed from the Second World War to 1980 without the collapse of Western Civilization.  That's slavery say the usual pro-plutocracy shills, although that word might more meaningfully be applied to the poor bastards of the TSA and other agencies forced to work without pay.

Just last night, CBS, the network of the opened eye and the opened fly, tsk-tsked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for stating the obvious truism that President U Bum is a toxic racist.  Wait until next week, when she tells an astonished Anderson Cooper what wild bears do in the woods!

8.  Stories to avoid at all costs

Finally, as part of our effort to be of service, the Spy can recommend stories to avoid at all costs because they are so boring and trivial.  For example, the continued unremediated advance of global warming threatens catastrophe around the world, while Republicans pretend there's nothing to see here.  Bor-ing!

Income inequality continues to ravage the poorest 95% of Americans, while Republicans do all in their power to make it worse.  Blah, blah, blah.

Maggie Haberman,
responding to critics
Women and minorities continue to suffer from pervasive prejudice and discrimination, while supposedly mainstream media outlets channel white supremacist drivel about the war on those poor white men and Republicans think that's a good thing.

Thanks to the replacement of American leadership with a corrupt clueless Russian plant, the world has become a far more dangerous place, leading to the deaths of thousands (in Yemen), the loss of American leadership (worldwide), and the collapse of American strategic alliances (in Europe), all of which destabilizes the world and empowers dangerous adversaries, like Russia and China.  But no one cares about what's going on in the rest of the world because it's expensive to present foreign news and besides America First!

9.  We're doing a great job

Finally, no matter how lazy and slovenly your coverage, remember that your only response to criticism, justified or not, is with a shriek of condescending defensiveness, Maggie.

Don't they know how hard we work?  Don't they know how expensive private school tuition is in New York?

We do but we don't care.  If your coverage is lazy, slanted, or simply a conveyor belt for Republican lies, you're going to get called out for it.  And of course you're going to blame anyone but yourselves.

If you need a refresher on how to respond to well-founded criticism, just see Hillary's emails.

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