Proud of Being Ignorant

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

This is the dumbest story ever written in all of human history.


First lady Michelle Obama ordered a whopper of a meal at the newly opened Washington diner Shake Shack during lunch on Monday. 

A Washington Post journalist on the scene confirmed the first lady, who's made a cause out of child nutrition, ordered a ShackBurger, fries, chocolate shake and a Diet Coke while the street and sidewalk in front of the usually-packed Shake Shack were closed by security during her visit. According to nutritional information on Shake Shack's Web site, the meal amounted to 1,700 calories.

Note that this was under "Politics and Policy." It's as if the purveyors of Beltway-ism and fen-fen joined forces and hatched a diabolical plot.

Adam expounds:

Yes, this is incredibly dumb--but it's a symptom of a journalistic culture that values catching a political figure in an act of hypocrisy far more valuable than evaluating the impact of their actual political views. The former, as Jay Rosen might put it, allows the reporter to maintain "innocence" because they're attacking a pol for a nonideological sin, while dealing with the facts of policymaking might actually force a reporter into "taking a side" on whose version of reality more closely resembles planet Earth.

The worst part is there no actual hypocrisy. It's just Colbert's truthiness plus a dash of "gotcha."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/07/proud-of-being-ignorant/241785/