The Problem With Political Journalism

MSNBC has been doing a lot of Olympics coverage lately, which has been an opportunity for the network to do promos for its normal news programming. One ad for Chuck Todd’s show features Todd saying: “I love politics; I wish every day was Election Day.”

I think that’s probably true, and that Todd’s probably not the only person involved in high-profile coverage of politics who feels that way, and that that explains a lot of what’s wrong with our media. I recall back during the 2008 primary campaign when every Tuesday brought a new Obama-Clinton result that Todd’s coverage was vital—breaking down the mechanics of the different primaries and caucuses, telling us about the demographic and geographical splits, running through the whole thing. It was great stuff. But obviously it’s not Election Day every day. There’s all this governing that happens and that’s important mostly because of its impact on the lives of ordinary people who themselves are probably fairly indifferent to politics.