If you are able to achieve the detachment necessary to view politics as a spectator sport (no easy trick, when the existential stakes are so high), then one of its most entertaining features, for those of us up here in the cheap seats, is what has come to be called “narrative collapse”. It affects the Left with gratifying regularity, and would be the political equivalent of a fumble or a pass-interception, save for the fact that it never seems to cost them any points. (This is largely due to who reports the sporting news.)
If you are a savvy fan, you can see it coming nearly every time. Take, for example, the recent shooting of a Mr. Scott, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Early reports were that he was unarmed — better yet, that he was holding a book. The assumption was that his shooting was yet another example of endemic racism, and on the strength of this “narrative”, the lovely city of Charlotte suffered days of rioting. White people (including news reporters) were beaten, stores were looted, property destroyed. There were injuries and at least one death. The usual people made, for the usual audience, the usual denouncements of white America.
It was all just too good to be true, of course. Mr. Scott, it turns out, had been shot by a black police officer, not a white one, and he had been carrying not a book, but a gun.
“Narrative collapse”. Expect to hear a lot less about the events in Charlotte going forward. (You’ll still hear plenty about evil racism, of course — so as usual, the turnover won’t affect the score.)
So here’s another one. Did you watch the Presidential debate the other day? If so, you may recall Mrs. Clinton castigating Donald Trump for remarking unkindly upon the character of one Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan muchacha who had won a beauty pageant he’d been in charge of. Mr. Trump, it seems, had complained that after her victory, la belleza had quickly become una balena, which was bad for business. Mrs. Clinton scored a point at the debate by announcing that not only had the injured and virtuous Ms. Machado decided to enrich all of our lives by becoming a citizen of the United States, but that she would also be voting for Mrs. Clinton. Zing!
Alas, the toothsome Ms. Machado has quickly become more of a liability than an asset for Mrs. Clinton, it seems, as there is more to her “narrative” than the former First Lady might have realized. The blogger “Libertybelle” has the skinny.
Maybe we’ll pick up some yardage on this one. Probably not. Now where’s that hot-dog guy?