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If people pin their hopes and dreams on politicians the same way they do NFL quarterbacks, or heavyweight boxers, then American politics is less about the business of self-government than it is about competition. Media critic Jay Rosen:

“The biggest advantage of horse-race journalism is that it permits reporters and pundits to play up their detachment,” Rosen has written. “Focusing on the race advertises the political innocence of the press because ‘who’s gonna win?’ is not an ideological question. By asking it you reaffirm that yours is not an ideological profession.”

In our chat he added, “Deep down, the refusal to give up the horse race is a refusal to give up that…”

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