The Nose: Iowa's Caucus; The 'Real' Kardashians & Things We Like in 2012

Jan 6, 2012

The national political media spend about a month trying to convince you that Iowa's caucuses are important. Now they're going to spend a week telling you why they don't matter.

On his blog PressThink, media critic Jay Rosen argued this week that: "The Iowa Caucuses are presented as a news event, a mini-election with an informational outcome, a winner. But what they really are is a ritual, the gathering of a professional tribe, which affirms itself and its place in our political system by staging this thing every four years."

That tribe is the press itself, which, increasingly, is a revolving door through which politicians and political operatives spin in and out, taking jobs as news analysts for a while before returning to the fray.

Last year, Fox News cut Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum loose from their news analyst contracts just as they started turning into actual campaigners. So is this anything more than ritual?

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