Clear68° FULL FORECASTClear68° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

The Feed

Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Newsweek correspondent compares covering presidential campaigns to watching bad hotel porn

21

October

Hackgqfeature8h As the presidential election nears, fatigue seems to be setting in among all involved -- especially journalists.

Columnist and reporters have been chewing over this election for a while now, but it's rare to find a reporter willing to be as open about the absurdity of life for journalists on the campaign trail as Michael Hastings is in the current issue of G.Q. magazine.

In a particularly potent essay dubbed "Hack: Confessions of a Presidential Campaign Reporter," he dishes on his experience trying to report a behind-the-scenes piece on running for president for Newsweek, beginning with the long-ago adays when Rudy Giuliani was considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Besides revealing how bad the Newsweek staff was at picking who was going to win the election -- seeking to plant him with a successful campaign, Hastings tagged along with Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton -- the story vividly compares campaign reporting to pleasuring oneself in a hotel room while watching porn.

Hastings' analysis: " You watch two performers. You kind of like it when one of them gets humiliated. You know they’re professionals, so you don’t feel much sympathy for them. You wish you could participate, but instead you watch with a hidden envy and feel vaguely ashamed for watching. You think you could probably do as good a job or better. You sometimes get a glimpse, intentionally or not, of society’s hidden desires and fears. You watch the porn week after week, the scenes almost always the same, none of them too memorable. The best ones get sent around the Internet."

Clintonpresspotty In other places, he calls Giuliani "a maniac," notes how Clinton once stuck the press corps in a men's urinal, described how he "could feel my soul die a little more with each cigarette break" while covering the Clinton campaign and describes a moment in which he realized that Huckabee supporter Chuck Norris is, indeed, just five years younger than John McCain.

For some reason, even though the extent of my campaign coverage work has been covering two speeches by Obama at journalism conventions, I could feel Hastings' pain tremendously.

 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:52pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...