Monday, March 22nd, 2004
No wonder the echo boomers distrust news. Mr. Marshall at Talking Points Memo has a couple of posts on the issue of reporting. I’m less interested in the politics, more interested in the competence. What happened to the “watchdog,” regardless of who’s in office.
Regarding the Richard Clarke issue, CNN has been leading into airs with the quote of Clarke’s that the president has done “a terrible job” on terrorism. Why is this “the quote” to quote from the 60 Min interview? I keep coming back to the Record monograph I cited and described below. What Clarke is going to say, said differently, is not knew. It hasn’t, as far as I’ve seen, been “studied” on the news as a matter of serious strategy–forget the politics and who’s attacking whom. There are too many attacks, so many it seems that all the press has time for. Now the press is going to start chewing on its own tail, blaming itself for who screwed up on reporting about WMD, and maybe rethink how to cover the White House. Talk strategy, talk analysis, talk study, and the airwaves go dead. This is not good.
We have Clarke on 60 Minutes saying one thing. We have Condoleeza Rice saying another at the Washington Post. Isn’t it fair to ask that some team of reporters try and figure out who’s telling it straight, rather than airing the partisans on television? We already know what they’re going to say. What the communications director of the white house is going to say in response to Clarke “isn’t news.”