The Media Has No Mind

John Atkinson sent along this Jay Rosen article about why "the media" gets stuff like primaries so wrong.

Basically, Rosen argues, it's because "the gang of 500" chooses to do things "the way they've been done." Thus, you get the same tropes over and over again—and, if they happen to be spectacularly wrong, it's because the people didn't act logically.

Hmmm. Maybe pundits, like baseball players, should post their stats.

What I find so perplexing about herd journalism is how much it means that every contest has a single, easy-to-follow story line. With 500 people covering the same story, shouldn't there be 500 points of view? Apparently not. For "experts," it is better to be conventionally wrong than it is to be unconventionally right. Easier too—no thinking required.

Rosen's pretty funny. His observation that "Campaign news in the subjunctive isn't really news" had me rolling on the floor.