Friday, July 02, 2004

Way Back Machine

Two great articles this week on the subjective swings of the press. ("Fickleness" was too unimportant and "pandering" doesn't quite get to the point.)

  • In The Campaign Desk, Liz Cox Barrett chronicles how the press fawned over John Kerry as a potential Gore running mate in 2000, long before it became imperative to malign him as the Not-Bush of 2004. B
    The "handsome," "charismatic" candidate who four years ago had an "easy manner," "charm," and a record impregnable to Republican attack has undergone a hideous transmogrification, as described by reporters.

    Since then, the same reporters and news (sic) outlets describe Kerry as ugly and devoid of charm.

    One can only speculate that he currently press darling of the Democratic world, John Edwards, will likewise become hideous and repulsive in the next four years.

    The issue here is not the importance of a candidate's physical appearance, but the press's willingness to abdicate any pretense of objectivity or impartiality and jump on the latest bandwagon to support the agenda of people in power.

  • Blogger Brad DeLong takes two columns about CIA reactions to Iraq intelligence, by the Washington Post's Jim Hoagland, written 15 months apart, and compares them point for point.
    DeLong writes:
    In October 2002 it was finally the case that some in the CIA were willing to buck careerism, recognize the obvious danger of Saddam Hussein, and no longer bury evidence. In February of 2004 it is incompetent alarmists at the CIA who exaggerate the Iraqi threat--and poor naive George W. Bush who believes them(.)

    Read the article. Outstanding.

  • Let's think about both of these articles for a minute: if politicans rule by polls, and the infotainment media make decisions based on "popular" news and corporate profit margins, that leaves the people buying news as a consumer product designed to reinforce the status quo. Er...doesn't sound like informed democracy to me.

    Bravo to both of these writers for peforming the public service of fact-checking, research and analysis that we clearly don't receive from the mainstream media.