We in the media need to let the political community know we are sick and tired of their “outrage.”
Let someone in one party say something preposterously feckless and self-serving, and someone in the other party is sure to announce he’s “outraged.” For instance, here’s Bernie Sanders expressing his “outrage” at Donald Trump. But who doesn’t express his “outrage” at Donald Trump?
We in the media must get the word across that we’d take their “outrage” more seriously if once in a while it was presented as—oh, maybe as “amused contempt.” I think the public can handle “amused contempt.”
Just today Scott Walker’s camp made a statement so contemptible it was amusing. But what did the Dems call it? “Outrageous.” Be careful, Dems. When everything’s “outrageous” nothing is.
Walker, the governor of Wisconsin who wants to be president, was asked about the Boy Scouts, who just lifted their ban on gay scout leaders. Walker, who’d been an Eagle Scout, said he liked the ban because “it protected children and advanced Scout values.” Protected children from what? the media wondered, and a spokesperson for Walker’s presidential campaign explained: “The previous policy protected Scouts from the rancorous political debate over policy issues and culture wars. Scouts should not be used as a political football on issues that can often be heated and divisive.”
This is like the lunch counter owner of another era who says the reason he keeps his establishment “whites only” is to spare his customers the “rancorous political debate” over segregation. “All they want is a BLT, a cup of Joe, and a little quiet,” he says.
Or like the country club that insists the reason it won’t accept women as members is that it refuses to get caught up in a “heated and divisive” issue.
The Democrats called the Walker statements “outrageous” and also “offensive” and “out of touch” and “not worthy of someone running for president.” Yada yada yada. Granted, “amused contempt” is sophomoric; then again, it’s a comment on political leaders who want to sound like freshmen forever.