Here’s a misty water-colored memory to treasure after the lonesome death of print media is over: the Washington Post’s commuter giveaway bragging about how uninteresting the news is:
“Can you feel the apathy?” Mehxpress asks on the jump page.
Chris Cillizza does yeoman work to deliver on the promised ennui, leading with “As a political junkie . . . ”
Take another look at the imperative in that subhed. “Get caught up — ” a command from the old days when newspapers stood at the top of the community and decided what was necessary for you to know. How the mighty have fallen. The Post laments that a mere 15 percent of Americans — fewer than are following Ebola, the air raids against the Islamic State, or Secret Service highjinks — are following the midterms. As always, youth is to blame: “Just 5 percent (!) of [18-to-29-year-olds] said they were monitoring the story closely.”
It’s true: At best, elections are deadly dull. Having the luxury to ignore politics is the point of the United States. And it’s a solemn service of journalism to provide a few easy yardsticks for unappealing news. The Post comes through on that front with five things “we know” about the midterms:
1. Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, and North Carolina are “the 5 races [sic] that will decide who takes the Senate.”
2. Incumbent Kansas Republican senator Pat Roberts is “the GOP’s biggest headache.”
3. “Obama is a problem for Democrats.”
4. “GOP thinks the Islamic State is its winning issue.”
5. Republican governors Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Paul LePage of Maine, and Sam Brownback of Kansas, along with Democratic governors Dan Malloy of Connecticut and possibly Pat Quinn of Illinois, are “going down,” while Florida, Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin are “toss-ups.”
Meh, indeed. Of the above, I knew 1 and 3; 2 seems to have been obviated by today’s news; I hope 4 is not true; and I had a vague idea about 5. And I’ve been doing everything in my power to avoid following the elections. Also, Nate Silver puts the “chances at 57.6 percent” that “Republicans will pick up the six seats the party needs to reclaim the Senate majority.”
Since no discussion of print news is complete without a to-be-sure graf, to be sure the Mehxpress crossword puzzle takes exactly as long as my commute to solve. So there’s that.