Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Target Rich environment

Body and Soul talks about an idea that I think is central to our purpose as Watchers of the Watchdogs, er, make that Watchkittens:

"A once a week open thread on press atrocities -- the articles that transcend normal press incompetence and rise to high levels of jingoism or sycophancy. The worst of the week."

Now, any of us can tune into Faux, MSNBC, CNN [Clinton News, Not] et al any time of the day and find an abundance of supporting evidence, and I'm willing to bet that any of us can open any paper from just about any metropolitan area and be bombarded with more evidence (as my mailbag proves) of blatant sycophancy on a case by case basis, but what really cooks my noodle is when the press moves collectively to the call of the RNC:

"The Bush administration is moving to quash any public airing of such scandalous pardons as that of fugitive Marc Rich, and the sleazy activities of first brother Roger Clinton in trying to arrange pardons-for-a-fee for convicted felons.


The White House warns that documents dealing with the last-minute pardons issued by the former president should not be revealed to the public because releasing them would set a precedent that would hamper a president's ability to get confidential advice from parties outside the White House. "The president is entitled to receive confidential advice and candid assessments from government attorneys," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "

What's always struck me as troubling about this is not so much Bush's desire to keep the press away from anything he might want to do with his own pardons [shudder], that's just par for the course, but that at the height of a full blown press feeding frenzy Bush can say, "Oh, pardons? I want unfettered pardons. Stop going there." and POOF, overnight pardons are no longer an issue. The press, the whole mainstream press community, drops the issue with all the subtlety of "Yes sir, right away sir, anything you say, sir!"

Trees, meet forest.

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