Daily Howler follows the same theme I followed in my entry yesterday on coverage of Gore’s speech. He calls it “motive journalism” – speculating on the motives of the newsmaker rather than doing their job and reporting on what the person did or said.
“Motive journalism” is easy and dumb. That seems to be why your pundits love it. After all, you can’t be proven wrong when you mind-read a pol’s naughty motives. But there’s an obvious downside to motive journalism. As long as you stick to mind-reading motives, you can’t help the public decide the life-and-death issues with which we are currently faced.
Going after motives instead of issues happens to play right into the Republicans’ favorite campaign tactic – character assassination. Attack the credibility of the opponent instead of the issues. (Motive is a tree. Credibility is a tree. See the forest.)