Sunday, December 07, 2003

Newt v. Hillary

Fat Tim had Newt and Hillary on today. Newt was much more critical, by an order of magnitude or more, of what's going on in Iraq than was Hillary. Leaving aside for the moment what this says about Hillary, it says a lot about how the media has covered criticism of Dear Leader's Excellent Iraq Adventure. From the moment Andy Card rolled out the new product, there has probably been more consistent, if somewhat muted, criticism of all of this from the Right. Sure, criticism from the Left tended to cast more doubts on the purity of motivation of the Bushies, while Right criticism tended to focus entirely on process and outcome (Leftist criticsm did that, too, of course), but nonetheless the media in its desperate attempt to follow the script has always cast this is a largely partisan debate. It is true that in congress almost all opposition has come from Democrats, but in the wider world of opinion shapers there has been plenty of criticism by those who are otherwise ideological allies of this gang.

By attempting to portray this as a partisan debate, the media successfully delegitimizes the opposition, who are "of course" simply trying to score political points, according to the Cokie Roberts school of political journalism.