My latest for Race42016.com…
Mother Jones has published a hit piece against Susana Martinez, accusing her, essentially, of being a vindictive airhead. Headlined “Is New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez the Next Sarah Palin?,” the article features a graphic of smoke surrounding her angry, disembodied, caricatured head.
The piece is a fine example of a fake news article; a piece whipped up solely for the purpose of being deployed in a future negative ad campaign, should Governor Martinez be nominated for vice-president. Most of the article is virtually content-free: the author, Andy Kroll, drones on and on about her biography for almost thirty paragraphs, briefly promising here and there to deliver the goods, which ultimately turn out to be that her policy proposals didn’t originate entirely from her own mind (“On policy, Martinez drew on borrowed ideas”), she sometimes privately swears and calls her opponents mean names, she doesn’t always get along with the state party, and that she and her aides nefariously plot to project a clean public image (“[C]ampaign emails and audio recordings also show how Martinez and her team strategized to maintain her straight-shooting image while avoiding actually being up-front with the public…”).
Stop the presses — Susana Martinez is a politician!
At one point, the article inexplicably contradicts its own headline, suggesting that while “[i]n the media, Martinez is often compared to Sarah Palin…perhaps the best comparison is to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.” In “the media”? You mean, in this very article?
Look, I know that when you write for an ideological news outlet, you’re obligated to try to discredit the opposing party’s up-and-comers. But speaking as someone who used to take part in this sort of fake journalism, it’s easily one of the most obnoxious elements of the business — and, while this article may yet serve its real purpose, should Governor Martinez run for higher office, nobody should think that it actually reveals anything damning. The worst that can said for Martinez after perusing Mother Jones’ evidence is that she is simply a politician and a human being — ambitious, calculating, and imperfect. Basically, just like Hillary Clinton. I eagerly await Mother Jones‘ hit piece comparing Secretary Clinton to Sarah Palin.