Media Hackery

Yesterday, Politico's Jonathan Martin caused something of a stir on the Twitters when he asked a pretty dumb question:
Is Rick Perry dumb?

Another Texas governor who drops his “g’s” and scorns elites is running for president and the whispers are the same: lightweight, incurious, instinctual.

Strip away the euphemisms and Rick Perry is confronting an unavoidable question: Is he dumb — or just “misunderestimated?”

Doubts about Perry’s intellect have hounded him since he was first elected as a state legislator nearly three decades ago. In Austin, he’s been derided as a right-place, right-time pol who looks the part but isn’t so deep — “Gov. Goodhair.” Now, with the chatter picking back up among his enemies and taking flight in elite Republican circles, the rap threatens to follow him to the national stage.

“He’s like Bush only without the brains,” cracked one former Republican governor who knows Perry, repeating a joke that has made the rounds.

The Texan’s loyalists reject the suggestion, asserting that it owes to political bias and sour grapes, but Perry himself seems to welcome the low bar. He cracked on the campaign trail earlier this month that the difference between him and Bush was that he went to Texas A&M and the former president attended Yale.
No, of course Governor Perry is not dumb. What kind of nonsense question is that?

I know, I know... it's a headline that will grab readers' attention and sell some ad space over at

But, as I maintain with other media outfits (I'm looking at you, Fox News Channel), asking a question to support your agenda (another example here) is lame.

If you purport to be a good journalist, and I would normally include Jonathan Martin in a list of reporters whom I think are legit, then why would you stoop to this level of hackery?