In what has become a daily ritual, another New York Times columnist thoroughly defamed and abused the president in an op-ed piece today. This morning, Frank Rich wrote:
“ONCE Toto parts the curtain, the Wizard of Oz can never be the wizard again. He is forever Professor Marvel, blowhard and snake-oil salesman. Hurricane Katrina, which is likely to endure in the American psyche as long as L. Frank Baum's mythic tornado, has similarly unmasked George W. Bush.”
Also of note, Rich demonstrated how Cindy Sheehan – remember her? – was just a pawn of the media while referencing how another of his cronies is now equating Katrina to Vietnam:
“It came only after the plan to heap all the blame on the indeed blameworthy local Democrats failed to lift Mr. Bush's own record-low poll numbers. It came only after America's highest-rated TV news anchor, Brian Williams, started talking about Katrina the way Walter Cronkite once did about Vietnam.”
What a difference a month makes: In August, it was Cindy Sheehan that represented Bush’s Vietnam as far as the were press concerned as reported by NewsBusters squad members here, here, and here. I guess anything that offers the media an opportunity to criticize the performance of the president is now akin to Vietnam.
Rich than predictably moved the discussion in a racial direction:
“The most odious image-mongering, however, has been Mr. Bush's repeated deployment of African-Americans as dress extras to advertise his ‘compassion.’"
Finally, Rich tried to pump up the media by misrepresenting the results of a recent Gallup poll:
“You know the world has changed when the widely despised news media have a far higher approval rating (77 percent) than the president (46 percent), as measured last week in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.”
Sorry, Frank, but maybe you ought to read the question that respondents were asked:
“16. Overall, do you feel the news media have acted responsibly or irresponsibly in its coverage of Hurricane Katrina?”
The question wasn’t asking respondents to rate their approval of the media in general, but just as it pertained to the coverage of this hurricane. That said, maybe Rich should familiarize himself with a poll done by Harris Interactive stating that 62% of Americans distrust the press. I wonder if it has anything to do with misrepresentations like the one Rich made about this Gallup poll.