COLBERT: EVERYONE'S GOT AN OPINION. Unlike everyone else across the ideological spectrum who's weighing in on this, I refuse to open my Stephen Colbert commentary by saying I'm a "huge fan" of his show or whatever. I think the show's okay, but it's got an inconvenient time slot, so I've only really seen maybe five or six episodes. And, despite that fact, I'd already heard a lot of the jokes he made. That seems a little lame to me. The John McCain bit, however, which I hadn't heard before is great satire: "John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him."

Quite so. The press's fetish for unpredictability is understandable -- it makes for better copy when people are unpredictable -- but it's so clearly grounded in something that has nothing to do with a politician's actual merit that I find it somewhat shocking that reporters do such a horrible job of blocking the conflation between "unpredictability is good for reporters" and "unpredictability is good." That Joe Klein seems to have actually published an entire book doing nothing but conflating the aesthetic virtues of unpredictability with policy merit is genuinely astounding.

--Matthew Yglesias

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