Neal Gabler might have hit a new low when it comes to the coarseness of his criticism. On this evening's Fox News Watch, he branded as 'sub-moronic' a statement President Bush made during his recent Iraq trip. And, furious that the media has been insufficiently critical in its coverage of Iraq for his taste, Gabler repeatedly labelled the MSM 'brain dead.'
Gabler began his assault by pouring cold water on the president's recent uptick in the polls: "the boost is very small. . . If you want to look at his numbers, his numbers are very, very low."
Even so, Gabler was galled that the press hasn't given sufficient attention to the bad news from Iraq. "The most positive media development for the president has been the fact that on the very day that he visited Baghdad, 24 Iraqis were killed in Kirkuk of all places and 50 were killed around Iraq, but it got no coverage. It was page 15 of the New York Times."
Page 15? Isn't that the page the Times normally reserves for stories about unemployment hitting new lows?
Gabler continued to carp: "The less the media are inclined to cover the Iraq war, the better it is for the president, and they're seemingly less inclined. In fact a reporter from the Chicago Tribune did a survey of the headlines of the Chicago Tribune and found there was less coverage this year of Iraq than last year, less coverage last year than the year before."
Gabler returned to the theme a bit later:
"The press corps is brain dead. They ought to resign en masse. Look at this, this is how brain dead they are. The president goes to Baghdad, and he says at his press conference 'there was uncertainty about the government here, and now there's no uncertainty' and nobody says anything about that. Nobody says 'wait a minute, this is sub-moronic.'"
Just in case we missed it, Gabler repeated in closing: "The press is brain dead. They ought to start asking real questions and reporting in a real way."