Manufactured drama

MANUFACTURED DRAMA…. The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley had a “TV Watch” column this morning on yesterday’s press conference in Chicago, where Barack Obama introduced his national security team. In the absence of any actual drama at the event, it appears Stanley decided to inject some.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech was no ordinary public-service pledge; for plenty of viewers, it was the moment when Mrs. Clinton finally conceded the election for real.

The occasion was solemn, but like a wedding where the parents are divorced, the ceremony was carefully choreographed to avert awkward moments and camouflage past unpleasantness.

When Mr. Obama unveiled his economic team last week, he alone made a speech. In this more delicate selection, it was decided that Mrs. Clinton, his pick for secretary of state, should also speak. But that might look suspect — or too political — unless the five other appointees also said a word, and that, in turn, required a few words from Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who had yet to make public statements of any consequence since the election. (He spoke last, spiritedly, and at some length.)

Not all the staging was designed to address Mrs. Clinton’s sensibilities….

This is all a bit much. Clinton “finally conceded the election for real” yesterday? Funny, I would have thought her June endorsement, followed by her convention speech, her multiple joint appearances with Obama, and her near-constant travel on Obama’s behalf, would have been enough.

The transition had to address Clinton’s “sensibilities”? Stanley didn’t point to any evidence to bolster this, probably because there isn’t any.

Matt Browner Hamlin had a great item on all of this, concluding that journalists “need to stop projecting their desired story lines onto the Obama administration (viz. making things up) and start reporting the news like professionals.”

Good advice.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.