"…[I]t is hard to imagine anything more galling than the unspoken media subtext of the election—the idea that this slime-fest somehow represents an important moment, a landmark memory, in our own lives. The implication that we're such losers that we would actually want to watch this crap 24 hours a day for 15 or 16 months is almost more appalling than the behavior of the candidates themselves.
"Though we're tempted to blame the politicians, it's time to dig deeper. It's time to blame the press corps that daily brings us this unrelenting symphony of horseshit and never comes within 1000 miles of an apology for any of it...
"To begin this important process of collective healing, we must find that first person to mark with our scorn. That is why New York Press has launched the First Quadrennial Election Hack Invitational—a tournament, to be held between now and the week after the election, which will answer the question: "Who is the worst campaign journalist in America?"
Mark with scorn, eh? Sounds like there'll be a whole lotta' leg-liftin' goin' on…
"The rules are very simple. We have chosen 32 of the country's leading campaign reporters, mostly from the world of print, and bracketed them into pairs. Each week, the pairs will square off against one another. Whoever writes worse, advances. It's that simple.
"The tournament progresses until the week after the election, when the writer of the worst and most slavish and dishonest election post-mortem among the two remaining contestants will receive an Illustrious Mystery Prize from the New York Press tournament committee. Anyone familiar with the history of these sorts of competitions is welcome to speculate as to what that might be.
"To determine a winner in each match-up, the contenders' articles will be examined by a three-person panel of drug-addicted judges culled from the editorial ranks of this newspaper. Our decisions are completely subjective and cannot be appealed. In fact, one of our rules is that any appeal from a contestant, whether in private or in public, results in automatic advance through to the next round."
Follow the link to the tournament chart.
Dug up at the World Magazine Blog.
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