The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Media absurdity from Whitewater to 'Whiz with.'

Media Matters has a lengthy piece by Jamison Foser up, and it's well worth reading. It looks at some of the issues I've been writing about (along with many, many other bloggers) this week on the heels of the Hillary Clinton piece and the renewed attacks on Al Gore.

Looking back over the last decade, Foser takes note of the continuing habit of news outlets to focus on non-stories that make progressives look bad while glossing over the deadly serious issues of, say, being lied into a war.

It's disturbing, frustrating, and occasionally pretty funny. I patricularly enjoyed the Slate writer who concluded that Hillary Clinton's answer to the ubiquitous "what's on your iPod" demonstrates her insincerity, while Bush's answer shows what a genuine feller he is. It was written this week. Foser then revisits the 2004 campaign's cheesesteak incident. Kerry's unfamiliarity with cheesesteak protocol showed that he was an out-of-touch elitist, while Bush's "Whiz with" in-the-knowism showed that he was a genuine man of the people. Only it was later learned that Bush had lied to the press about the whole thing, and also preferred his sandwiches in a decidedly non-Philly manner. As Foser asks, "Why on earth would a man who doesn't care what other people think of him lie about the cheese he eats?" Too late. The media has accepted the genuine-Republican/phony-Democrat meme as gospel.

Also telling is veteran journalist David Broder's defense of the Times piece on the Clinton marriage-- although Media Matters has no less than six examples of Broder talking about the dangers of turning people's personal lives into "news."

There's much, much more. And it's all good stuff, although it points to the disturbing conclusion that the next Democratic presidential nominee is in for more of the same treatment.