Darn it, when the MSM have a Republican in their sights, shouldn't he have the good grace to sit there and take it until he's hounded from office? That would appear to be NBC's operative principle, judging by Today's coverage of the Rumsfeld flap. Much of the emphasis this morning was not so much on the substance of the controversy but on the fact that the Pentagon is fighting back against the calls for Rumsfeld's ouster.
Jonathan Alter is having an utterly typical week in his "Conventional Wisdom Watch" box at Newsweek this week, labeled the "You're Doing a Heckuva Job, Rummy Edition." Once again, there is absolutely no separation between what the average MoveOn.org type thinks and what Alter writes:
Bush gets the typical down arrow: "Hearty Rummy endorsement shows he still puts loyalty before reality. And accountability? Ha!"
This all happened on a fictional version of CNN's "Situation Room" with anchor Wolf Blitzer.
The fictional Wolf Blitzer speculated about who would leave the administration next.
"John Snow, Scott McClellan and Donald Rumsfeld are rumored to be next. Is this the beginning of a Bush staff bloodbath?"
There was breaking news.
"This just in. White House press secretary Scott McClellan resigned to, quote, "spend more time with his family." His replacement has already been named as Brittany Doyle. What can you tell us about Brittany Doyle, Terry?"
Terry Kent, the new White House chief of staff, says Brittany Doyle is "Chief Justice Roberts' baby-sitter. She's 16. Very popular in her school, very confident. And chairman of the prom committee. I think she's a great choice to handle the White House press corps."
The Washington Post's Sunday "Book World" section published two book reviews today offering some notice and praise for new books by New York Times reporters/authors.
Matt Drudge has linked to a Los Angeles Times article by Robin Abcarian about Katie Couric's perpetual association with the P-word: "perky." She is NOT happy with the word.
ALAN COLMES: Shawn let me begin with you. Did you know whore or know of her through friends, what can you tell us about this person?Colmes continued his question without stopping as if he didn't know he made the slip. Ironically, his next question addressed people who have also gave her a condescending name and has not mentioned her in another fashion. The mention that she is a "student" and a "mother of two" went without educating the audience she once stole a cab from a taxi driver:
ALAN COLMES: You know they keep referring to her in all the stories as a "stripper", as opposed to a student, she's also a mother of two, it seems like they can't get away from that word stripper, they don't really represent the entirety of who she is.DOWNLOAD - .WMV DOWNLOAD - .MP4
Friday offered a good illustration of how the “news” is a manufactured product, an optional creation with a lot of room for spin in the “news judgment.” All three network morning shows brought on Gen. John Batiste to argue for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. Now conduct this imaginative exercise. A set of retired generals in the Clinton years comes out and demands that the Defense Secretary resign. Would they be salivated over by the newspapers and network bookers?
We must thank Washington Post political reporter Shailagh Murray for the laugh-out-loud paragraph of the week, the second paragraph of her front-page Friday profile of Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a “Republican On The Edge”:
You really couldn’t script this any better: Three prominent liberal media members (the third is a player to be named later!) challenging another over what Democrats stand for. And, the beauty is that these folks are actually blogging their disgust with one another for all to read. Go get some popcorn, because this is literally a three ring circus!
Our story begins on Tuesday, April 11 at a breakfast sponsored by HBO and the Council on Foreign Relations. Early the following morning, the Nation’s Eric Alterman posted at his TIME blog his discontent with something TIME’s Joe Klein said at the affair: “It was a useful discussion with many useful tributaries and give and take with the audience and we all felt better for it. That is right up until the very last moment when, after someone brought up the question of the whether the Democrats will be able to present an effective alternative to Bush in the next election, Joe Klein shouted out, ‘Well they won’t if their message is that they hate America—which is what has been the message of the liberal wing of the party for the past twenty years.’”
Seems like a sound and impartial observation by Klein. However, Alterman wasn’t pleased: “Excuse me, but I think this is worth some attention. It’s not about Klein per se, who after all, is best known to most Americans as the guy who lost his job at both Newsweek and CBS News for purposely misleading editors, readers and viewers in order to increase his own personal profit as the allegedly ‘anonymous’ author of ‘Primary Colors.’” Get the sense that this is going to get good? It does:
The man, who calls himself both Rick Renage and Rick Regado, emailed a reporter for the Danbury News-Times that three busloads of Grey Wolves would show up wearing "black pants, black boots, red sox with black jackets and the swastika branded on the back." The purpose of his email was to tarnish the reputation of those rallying, and hopefully diminish their influence.
According to Editor & Publisher (hat tip to Drudge), rock singer Neil Young recently recorded a song entitled “Impeach the President” which is to be included on his new CD. Apparently, there have been rumors on the Internet that Young was working on an anti-Bush album for some time. These were somewhat confirmed by a blog entry made at Last Turn Left B4 Hooterville on April 7. The blog is the work of Alicia Morgan, a Sherman Oaks, California, musician with a devout hatred of the current administration (emphasis mine):
“On Wednesday, I was at work when I got a call for a Neil Young session the next day. Needless to say, I was excited about it - Neil Young is one of my musical heroes. When my husband and I got to Capitol, we found 98 other singers, a collection of L.A.'s finest. All I knew was that we were singing on a new Neil Young record, but when the lyrics we were supposed to sing flashed on the giant screen, a roar went up from the choir. I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was ‘Let's impeach the President for lyin'!’"
Isn’t that special? Nothing brings out the music in me more than a good impeachment. Mercilessly, Morgan continued:
Different day, different Today show anchor, different attitude. As we documented yesterday,
Hard-left anti-war reporter Seymour Hersh, who tried so hard in 2004 to get President Bush defeated with the Abu Ghraib scandal, and was given many media opportunities to make his case, had another great week in the media this week with his New Yorker article suggesting Bush wanted to drop bunker-busting nukes on Iranian nuclear sites. As usual, the article was larded with anonymous sources that no one can check or evaluate for political motives.