Allen and Sawyer talked about Elena Kagan, Barack Obama’s new nominee to the Supreme Court. Allen and Sawyer had a serious, wide-ranging conversation about Elena Kagan’s judicial philosophy, intellectual history, her perception of the limits of executive power during wartime, and the merit of lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest court.
Ha ha, just kidding. Allen was “reporting” on the forthcoming completely predictable and meaningless political battle. You know, he’s such an insider that the Republicans have already told him what they will say about Kagan. And the Democrats have also told him what they will say about Kagan. And it’s Mike Allen’s job to tell Diane Sawyer what will be said. Will the things that will be said have merit? Will they be true? Mike Allen is not concerned with those silly questions! He’s just here to tell us how things will “play.”
What’s that, Diane? You have a potentially interesting question about the possibly cloistered worldview of a court made up entirely of Ivy Leaguers? Well, Diane will make sure to undermine that theoretically interesting line of inquiry by mentioning polls before Mike makes a joke about how it sure is funny that there won’t be any Protestents on the court. (What does any of this mean for how the ultimately unaccountable Supreme Court interprets the Constitution? Ugh, who cares, go back to your Magic Cards, nerdlinger.)
So now we know the White House talking points and we know that Republicans will not support her and we know that she will pass anyway, by a narrow margin. But what a fun ride it’ll be, right? This is why they got into journalism: to cynically identify the talking points that they will soon report on as news, in the service of an elaborate farce masquerading as political discourse.