PolySciFi Blog

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Saturation Points

For the last five years, as anyone who knows me knows, I've been increasingly frustrated (furious, even) at the press's willingness to be spoonfed bullshit. But it seems that even Fox News has its limits. Jack Shafer has a roundup of some of the more notable moments of broadcast journalists pointing out that many government officials have left the "reality-based community." CNN goes one better, with an entire article that simply compares and contrasts official statements about conditions in New Orleans with on-the-ground reports. People on the left have overused the phrase "speaking truth to power" enough that I can't quite get it out with a straight face. But this, it seems to me, is what the press is supposed to do: call government officials on their bullshit whenever they lie to the American people. Please don't mistake this for Bush-bashing; the press should treat any and all politicians this way. They've been far to willing to give pols the benefit of the doubt during this administration; that's not their job. Welcome back.

Update: In the meantime, John Hinderaker at Powerline Blog thinks that coverage of the floods represents "A new low for the MSM." He thinks coverage of the disaster has been scandalously biased and faults Bush for not responding aggressively enough. Money quote:
I understand the administration's problem: it's hard to mount a defense without pointing out the scandalous performance of the state and local authorities who were responsible for emergency preparation and for the initial response to the hurricane.
I'm not by nature a cheek-turning sort, but I think that has too often been the administration's approach. This time, it could be fatal.

It is certainly true that local response to the hurricane was inadequate. But in a large-scale emergency, responsibility falls to the federal government. And anyone who thinks the feds handled this in an exemplary way, and are just too darn gentlemanly to point out the flaws of government agencies down the food chain needs to have their head examined. Even Michelle Malkin thinks Michael Brown should be fired. If there was any doubt that Hinderaker is a hack, willing to apologize for unforgiveable incompetence as long as it's his team that's bungling things, that post should dispel it.

Update 2: It appears that the White House is following Hinderaker's advice. Bravo.


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