Thursday, December 13, 2007

Disgraceful: WaPo Runs Reviews of Presidential Candidates' Clothes. Really.

Robin Givhan, How I Think She Looks:
Wears glasses in vain attempt to look intelligent

The Washington Post is running a series on the leading Presidential candidates. They call it The Front-runners: A revealing look at each of the leading presidential candidates

Good luck to you in finding any actual substance in this series. It is a vehicle for the most puerile and vapid information to be dispatched to the American voter. For example, WaPo Style writer Robin Givhans has a daily article. Originally headlined "How He Looks", now each piece is given an individual title and listed as "[Candidate's] Style".

But the pieces are still completely superficial discourses on the candidate's look and how that reinforces Robin Givhan's belief in the conventional wisdom about that candidate. So far, she's riffed on Hillary Clinton's pantsuits (damn feminist! Robin wants you to wear a dress, or at least show cleavage so she can vamp about that); Romney's perfect hair (too perfect; manufactured); Edwards down-home clothes (fake); Fred Thompson's boring clothes (doesn't really care) and McCain's too young clothes (too old). We breathlessly await her discourses on Obama (too young, inexperienced), Huckabee (hanging off him; not ready for primetime, or bariatric surgery?), and Giuliani (ambition, ambition, ambition).

There are also "tag clouds" called Free Association for each candidate (really), a summary of the candidate's stump speech, 4 things you might not know about the candidate, and a five-page story outlining the candidate's life.

Markedly, there is no special section for each candidate on anything of substance, like "Policy Positions", or "Record on Issues" or anything serious like that. It's all horserace and no soul.

How Robin Givhan looks for writing these empty pieces: Stupid. How the Washington Post looks for running them: Sad.

Journalism is dead. Long live the corporate media!

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