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Tue Dec 16, 2014, 06:42 PM

Frank Bruni’s “Bush worship” is back: Why this Times scribe must not cover Jeb

Frank Bruni’s “Bush worship” is back: Why this Times scribe must not cover Jeb

Lord knows the political media is drooling at the prospect of Jeb Bush throwing on the old epaulets and ermine robes and getting the family back into the presidentin’ business. But none seems to be more thrilled by the news than the New York Times’ Frank Bruni:

[H]e learned between his 1994 defeat and 1998 victory to reach out to minorities and speak inclusively and hopefully. When he recently told an audience in Washington that a person had to be willing to lose the Republican primary to win the general election, he was in part alluding to that lesson, and he was telegraphing the tone that a Bush campaign would take. He was also signaling a suspicion of labels and boxes.

Why, he sounds downright loveable. Of course, Bruni has a long history with the Bush family, having been on the campaign trail with “W” back in 2000 and delivering some of the most glowing coverage any presidential candidate has ever been privileged to receive, and often on the front page of the New York Times. And the affection was mutual. Eric Alterman recounted a story that perfectly illustrates the relationship:

Shortly after the 2000 election, Richard Wolffe, then a reporter for the Financial Times, summed up what went wrong in the coverage. “The Gore press corps is about how they didn’t like Gore, didn’t trust him. … over here, [on the Bush press plane], we were writing only about the trivial stuff because he charmed the pants off us.” The New York Times’s Frank Bruni, however, did not think he or his colleagues were to blame. Rather, the trivial nature of his work was apparently the fault of the voters. “Modern politics wasn’t just superficial because the politicians made it so,” he argued. “It was superficial because the
voters let it be.”

And do not forget to read Eric Alterman's excellent piece on Bruni, just read it, I cannot excerpt it without losing part of it. But Bruni is way too often regarded as a great reporter/columnist. It is more like he is a stenographer.


Think Again: The Times’ Frank Bruni, or How to Succeed in Journalism Without Really Caring (About Issues)

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Reply Frank Bruni’s “Bush worship” is back: Why this Times scribe must not cover Jeb (Original post)
Mass Dec 2014 OP
delrem Dec 2014 #1

Response to Mass (Original post)

Tue Dec 16, 2014, 11:02 PM

1. He (Jeb) sounds positively third way.

Sounds like he's already got the custom-made costume.

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