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Note, Mike Allen Fans Flag Non-Story

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Note, Mike Allen Fans Flag Non-Story"

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The Washington Times has a story trying to make a big deal out of the fact that Barack Obama often appears with American flags in public: “Look. It’s President Obama, and he’s surrounded by American flags,” the piece said. “That’s the same president who once would not wear an American flag pin. Things have changed.”

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And, honestly, whatever. Obama’s been surrounded by flags throughout the presidential campaign and everyone with half a brain knows it. But The Washington Times prints a lot of BS. But as Greg Sargent observes, things got a little weird in the broader media pickup:

The Note, inexplicably, listed the piece as a “must-read,” and Politico’s Mike Allen exclaimed that “cable’s gonna go cuckoo over this.” Doesn’t take much, apparently.

Naturally, it got its Drudge link. All for a story about nothing. Allen’s response is, I think, the most infuriating. Everyone knows that Mike Allen is an important political reporter. His morning “Playbook,” in particular, helps set the agenda for the whole next day of moronic political buzz. When he writes up a stupid story, he’s not passively predicting that people will be buzzing about it, he’s helping to make it happen. In this case, it didn’t work. Today’s cable news has, overwhelmingly, been about an actual policy question—Obama’s housing plan. And good for cable. But no thanks to Mike Allen.

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