Jay Rosen’s series of posts on “The Church of the Savvy” are well worth worth reading.
Savviness! Deep down, that’s what reporters want to believe in and actually do believe in— their own savviness and the savviness of certain others (including operators like Karl Rove.) In politics, they believe, it’s better to be savvy than it is to be honest or correct on the facts. It’s better to be savvy than it is to be just, good, fair, decent, strictly lawful, civilized, sincere or humane.
I don’t think it’s just the press and I don’t think this is that new. When I first went to college, I was surprised by the way the other students viewed everything as a system to try to beat. You didn’t take a class because the subject was interesting, you took it because the subject was fashionable, because the professor was about to become famous, etc. etc. It was important to be savvy, not curious. Curious was for weirdos and wall-flowers, savvy was for the winners.
I was never able to see things the same way after this.