Monday, October 18

The Boys in the Bubble

It's truly applying to the Bush adminstration. Once upon a time, the president and press secretary would face the press and own up to tough questioning. THAT was an honest display of strength and resolve. What Bush does...

- Screening out crowds at his rallies
- Surrounding himself with "friendly" press
- Listening only to voices of agreement, not dissention
- And doing it all in the name of "conviction" not real. It's not resolve. It's not strength. It's living in a bubble. It's completely and totally out of touch with reality. Ask Helen Thomas. She's been front and center at every press conference challenging every single president since Kennedy. This administration marginalized her, shoved her to the back and ultimately pushed her out. Challenging is not allowed.

This isn't facing the press. It's locking yourself in your room. And it has no business representing America. This little passage from Howard Kurtz' column in WaPo scares the crap out of me.
Truth and Consequences

In articles, columns and one internal ABC News memo, some journalists have argued that the president has engaged in far more serious distortions than John Kerry has, and that media outlets should blow the whistle on these falsehoods.

"Your instinct is that if we say bad things about one side you have to say bad things about the other side," says Adam Nagourney, the New York Times's chief political reporter. "You want to give equal scrutiny to both sides, but I don't think you should impose a false equivalence that doesn't exist."

The Bush team, which issued a release slamming a recent Nagourney story, is pushing back. "The Bush campaign should be able to make an argument without having it reflexively dismissed as distorted or inaccurate by the biggest papers in the country," says spokesman Steve Schmidt.

At issue is how far reporters should go in analyzing the candidates' attacks and ads, especially if one side is using a howitzer and the other a popgun.
This should NOT be an issue. This should be standard operating procedure in each and every newsroom in the country.

How far should reporters go? FAR. As far as they can go. As far as they can until they get the answers they demand. Skating around the question is NOT acceptable. Fear of being ridiculed by the administration is NOT acceptable. Fear of ANYTHING is NOT acceptable. It's journalism. It's not about finding accusations. It's about finding the TRUTH. These hacks we have today on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, etc. don't care about the truth. They care about deadline and sexy one-liners.

Neither of the candidates are facing the kind of questioning journalists asked up until just a few years ago. And they should. They must. Bush AND Kerry. And I'll tell you this: I know Kerry would have no problem with that. None. He'll step up to the plate and take it. Like a strong and resolute person should.

Bush can't. And won't. Because he's weak. He'd rather sit in his room, watch what Kerry says, pick it to pieces and throw verbal hand grenades from behind his wall.

Because he cannot face reality. He's small. He's not strong. He gets his strength from sycophancy, not opposition. He truly is the Boy in the Bubble.