Elections Have Consequences—for Dick Morris

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Tricky Dick, we totally knew ya:

No more Fox News contributor Dick Morris. His contract to spout republic-damaging nonsense on Fox airwaves has expired, and the network isn't renewing it. Taken together with the news that Sarah Palin will no longer be contributing, the Morris development is strong evidence that Fox News has glimpsed the underside of allowing charlatans to brand its coverage. Palin was a roboto-contributor, who responded to everything with a little crack on the lamestream media and a reference President Obama's socialist heart.

As for Morris's misdeeds, well, everyone knows what they are. That's because Fox News presented them so prominently in the run-up to last year's presidential election. In his prime-time, pre-election appearances, Morris was among the few pundits who wouldn't hedge his bets; who wouldn't triangulate his way through the polling numbers; who wouldn't rummage through scenario after scenario in his analysis. No, Dick Morris was predicting a Mitt Romney landslide. Fox News fell for it, and surely millions of Americans did as well.
The problem with Dick Morris is the problem with all the other pundits who were unskewing and consulting their feelings -- they were bullshitting. It's not so much that they were wrong, it's that they didn't care. Most of those pundits are still in power. 

This isn't merely a problem that pops up during elections. Over the weekend I went on a Twitter rant about Glen Kessler's column on Obama's skeet-shoot claims. What I had forgotten, amid my anger, is that Kessler's "fact check" is, itself, a part of the entertainment style of political reporting. Part of this is us. This kind of media exists for a reason. People consume it.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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