Attack, Please

An idle press is the talking-points' plaything

What do reporters do? Reporters ask questions. Who? What? When? And so on. But sometimes, there’s nothing to ask those five-W questions about, so they start asking more complicated questions, ones without Ws or answers.

1. Can the rift between Hillary and Obama supporters be healed?
This question is still getting serious play in print and on the airwaves. And there’s no answer despite all the speculation.

2. Should the Democrats be stronger in attacking McCain during the convention?
Yesterday, political strategist James Carville railed against the noble tone of the first day of the DNC, and today we can’t
stop talking about it.

The problem with questions like these is that there a) no answers and b) no way to report the story. Alas, if
Jack Shafer and the other naysayers are right and conventions are devoid of substance, perhaps the press feels compelled to goad the Obama campaign into taking action… and you know… making news that can be reported.

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.