Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

I Care About Karl Rove Now

Steven Johnson asserts in his new book that everything bad is good for you. By that, he means that pop culture has become more complex and better for your brain. I see where he’s going with that and it bears looking at more deeply, but for the moment what I find interesting is that watching the West Wing really has changed my outlook on the presidency. That’s not to say that I like this administration any more than I ever did — I still think they’re inept. However, after having watched the West Wing I now know a great deal more about what it is that Karl Rove actually does. I understand more about how senior staffers affect policy and get bills in front of congress.

What watching the West Wing hasn’t taught me however is how to understand why Karl Rove (or any other senior staffer for that matter) would reveal the identity of an operating CIA agent. I really have tried to see what the value would be and I can find none. There really is no reason for politics and politicians to drag our servicemen, our protectors, into their dirty fights. And I’m not the only one who is having trouble not seeing this as a treasonous act. In fact, it pains me to say something like that because treason is one of those words that tends to reek of hyperbole. I’m not pulling my hair out, trust me. I’m not jumping up and down and frothing at the mouth. Nonetheless, is there any way this is not treason?

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