This Is Your Brain on Campaign

From the LA Times’s James Rainey:

Somewhere inside the brain of the presidential campaign reporter lies a huge lobe devoted to recognizing conflict.

From this hyper-developed brain center come stories about the certain demise of some politicians (John McCain), the inevitable success of others (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and the extreme probability that hostilities, once started, will never end.

The discordulum (as it’s known in my entirely imagined research on discord) can function beautifully, sussing out the combat that really does charge our presidential politics. But it has limits — often firing on the same overheated synapses, even when conflict is waning…

…For discord-centric members of the media, it’s not so easy to give up the last story line. So expect another moment of cognitive dissonance on the near horizon: It will come when Clinton concedes, embraces Obama and begins working furiously for her onetime rival.

It’s what Clinton has promised all along. It just didn’t register in the media discordula.

Also in Rainey’s piece: Times’s Karen Tumulty is sorry that she and her peers in the press didn’t have “much of a discussion about the issues” during primary season and promises “a lot of discussion of issues” in general election coverage.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.