Among the topics covered by Howard Kurtz this morning is the speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2008. Kurtz characterizes why Democrats, Republicans, women, and the press would enjoy her candidacy. He says journalists would be
“ecstatic at covering the campaign of the most polarizing woman in American politics, not to mention the unprecedented story line of a former first lady trying to win her husband’s old job.”
In this single sentence Kurtz cogently demonstrates that the narrative bias of journalism is structural rather than ideological. Hillary Clinton is “polarizing,” which means the press can create easy political dichotomies for and against anything she says or does. And then there’s the “story line,” which allows the press to ignore policy while it delves into the drama of a political women aspiring to the heights reached by her husband. Just by being who and what she is makes it difficult for the press to cover a Clinton candidacy in a politically useful way.