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The most prevalent form of degradation in journalistic life

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All of us have our obsessions and kinks, and Ezra Klein’s is that sometime between now and the general election Joe Biden is going to decide not to run for president:

Klein: Now let me ask you about a different timeline here. Let’s say it is Aug. 1. The primaries are over. The delegates are selected, committed primarily now to Joe Biden, and Joe Biden has a health event or just realizes that he can’t do this. It’s not for him right now. And he steps down. What happens then so close to the convention?

Kamarck: Well, at that point, you have 4,000-and-some people who are already elected delegates on their way to Chicago. And I think that other people will throw their hat in the ring, and they’re going to have to convince those delegates in convention, because there’s not much time, right?

So you will have what you had in the old days. Delegations will meet in their hotels, and the candidates will go from hotel to hotel, or their surrogates, talking to the delegations and trying to get support. You would have the wives or the husbands being surrogates. You’d have other surrogates going to the smaller state delegations.

And in the meantime, of course, you’d have a wild social media campaign going on. You’d have polling going on. You’d have all the other things going on. It’d be pretty wild. You might need another day for the convention because there’d be so much work to do.

And odds are you’d have to go beyond one ballot for somebody to get the nomination. Odds are you’d need a first ballot just to figure out where everybody was, and then you’d probably take a break before you had your second ballot.

It would be pretty wild. I think for political reporters, Ezra, it would be the most fun of your whole life, and you’d love it. I think the voters would be absolutely tuned in to their televisions. This would be great reality TV, if you will. It would be reality politics. . . .

Klein: Well, let me try to live in this world for a minute, try to imagine how it would feel and what would happen. Let’s think August, maybe July, right? There are a couple of months here.

Here’s what I see happening. There is a mad dash. I mean, Joe Biden gives a sort of heroic, honorable speech: I’ve decided that it’s the right thing for me is to be a bridge to the next generation, that we all need to know when our time is up, that I have important work that I still need to focus on and trying to defend Ukraine and Israel, Palestine and all these different things. And so there’s this sort of applause to Joe Biden.

And then all of a sudden, there is this mad dash. You have, of course, Vice President Harris, but it’s very easy to name eight or 10 other people who would be, you know, very plausible here — Buttigieg, Raimondo, Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, Jared Polis, Raphael Warnock. Anybody can have their list. Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar.

CNN and MSNBC are going to start running candidate forums on the daily, as many of these that can actually be done. Because, one, they can actually shift the world — if the right 5,000 people watch this, you might just win the convention and the nomination and become the next president. They’re going to be giving speeches. They’re going to be sitting for a million interviews and podcasts — very busy time on “The Ezra Klein Show.”

Basically, Donald Trump got elected president of the United States, and may well be elected again, because the people running the media industrial complex discovered that he was great for ratings.

For them, it’s the greatest show on Earth, and they want it renewed for a few more seasons.

The otherwise utterly nonsensical ongoing “reporting” on whether Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic party’s presidential candidate this year makes perfect sense inside this Reality TV model of politics as entertainment.

And if the end of liberal democracy in the USA for the foreseeable future is part of the price we have to pay in return for great ratings for The Ezra Klein Show, well negocios son negocios as they say on Wall Street and in Sinaloa.

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