Thursday, October 13, 2005


I just saw something that I find quite hopeful. At least in the short term. And it wasn't Bush's glowing predictions for Iraq.

In case you haven't been following it, the President had a video "give-n-take" with some "troops" in Iraq. It was supposed to be an opportunity for the President to talk to ordinary troops about progress in Iraq ahead of the upcoming elections. And of course, it was as carefully staged as any other event Bush has had for years. There's really no news here.

What is amazing is the media coverage of the event. EVERYONE is lambasting and embarrassing Bush. Even FOX! ABC News Tonight did a two to four minute piece on the photo-op choreography tonight on it's news cast. They featured and compared video footage of the Pentagon P.R. prep person's run-through with the troops, to the video of Bush actually asking questions. It was quite thorough and very well done. And Bush looked like an idiot.

So where's my amazement.? It's a bit like my old friend Capt. Renault discovering to his faked horror and exclaiming that he is "shocked shocked" that gambling is going on in Rick's bar. (I know, I've used this before. But I just love that scene, and it's sooo perfect).

BushCo has been doing this SHIT for years!!! Why are the media making a big deal out of it now? I mean. The coverage of this as a photo-0p and how it was faked was EVERYWHERE today! What's up?

The speculation has been that the media has been particularly kind to Bush because he's such a corporate animal, and the corporate media insisted on their boy being protected. Another theory is that the media has flat been lazy or ensconced in the cocktail crowd. Or perhaps the media has slacked because of patriotic support for the President due to the Iraqi war and the war on terrorism. I've even read it said that Bush has intimidated the press.

So why are we getting much better coverage now?

I can only guess. But if you look at each explanation for Bush getting favorable treatment, you can see that there must be a lot of blood in the water for the press to abandon him.

Corporate support? If it's now safe to go after Bush, corporate money must think it in their best interest to get rid of the guy.

Fear of losing status in the cocktail crowd? Maybe it's getting cool to diss Bush. It certainly doesn't take much work to nail him because the stories of administration media manipulation are front and center.

Patriotic support? I wonder if it's getting patriotic to be against Bush, and perhaps even the Iraq war.

The intimidation factor? Hmmmm. Matt Lauer didn't look too intimidated the other day. A President with approval ratings in the thirties isn't all that intimidating. You can bet at any viewing moment, two-thirds of the audience doesn't like the guy. Besides...really. How can anyone be intimidated by a moron?

This is good news....sort of. I say that because the media winds are blowing in my direction. But then again, why do there have to be media winds at all? It seems to me that the media coverage of politics (anything for that matter) should be much more grounded in explaining the truth, getting out the complete story. The fourth estate's role in our democracy is to NOT be swayed by the winds of opinion.

I guess I can only hope that the experience of getting in bed with Bush and then getting .... well you know ... may have a teaching effect on our media. But then I still believe in the tooth fairy .... I just haven't lost any teeth lately.

UPDATE: Froomkin, for whom I have enormous respect, thinks the media jumped all over the photo-op because of an errant satellite feed which dumped the story in their laps. In other words, the media picked it up due to happenstance. Not sure I agree, but it's a worthy consideration imo.


At 5:00 AM, Blogger Lynne said...

Our media has lost its way.
I saw Blitzer interviewing Bill Clinton not too long ago. Wolf was trying to get him to say something and Clinton was evading/being diplomatic. Wolf remarked, "I'm trying to make news."
No Wolf. Your job is to REPORT news, not make it.
I wonder if we will ever get a responsible media back.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Marla said...

I agree. In an attempt to get the MOST "fair and balanced" coverage that I can, I try to watch a bit of FOX, a bit of CNN, you get the picture...and then based upon what information both networks present on a given topic, I try to figure out what "might" have "really" happened. Doesn't really work, though. I still end up being annoyed and/or confused.

The job of the media is to give us facts and allow us to come to our own conclusions, not to become a part of the story. By inserting their BIASED opinions into news stories, they are making themselves a PART OF the story. That's completely unprofessional, and by doing so, they are doing an injustice to all Americans.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Greyhair said...

Boy Marla, I give you a lot of credit for guts.

I can't stand to watch CNN much less FOX. I had to give it up before the 2004 election. I'm probably not better for it. Hats off to those who can.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Lynne said...

I have turned to the internet for news, state papers, and international sources. The truth is out there somewhere... :)
(sorry, couldn't resist)

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

satellite feed + (< 40 approval) = safe news.

The gestalt is changing and maybe has changed. The newsnoses now know that Bush is an incompetent whackjob and that that fact will sell papers (let's be clear: it will sell papers versus getting capo Karl on your corporate ass)

Like bobbie said: "you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows"


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