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Bothsideism as genre confusion


It’s been a nice little week for bothsideism, with some truly classic examples of a genre that under the circumstances one would think would be deader than Marley.

Sadly, no:

And this is the WAPO, which is generally much better in regard to this stuff than the typical elite media source!

Then, as Scott reminds us, there are the shattered remnants of the many months of heroic attempts to make Ron “Let’s Force Cruise Lines to Be Virus Vectors” DeSantis the longed-for Reasonable Republican.

One thing that’s going on here is that the Both Sides frame is so deeply embedded in mainstream media political coverage in this country that it’s almost impossible for those who have spent their entire careers replicating that frame to escape it, no matter how absurd it becomes.

Here’s an analogy: Suppose you had a writer’s room for a super successful extremely long-running situation comedy, in which all the writers have done literally nothing else for their entire professional careers besides write for this show. Then gradually at first, and then more suddenly, the plot outlines they were being handed down them by the show runners become more and more incongruous with what the show has always been.

Yet the writers don’t know how to do any other kind of writing, so eventually you get episodes that feature things like “Darlene murders her three children in a bout of severe depression — hijinks ensue!”

That’s where we are now.

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