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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:32 PM
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Clinton and the Media
see why the Clinton's have become the media's best friend, no matter what the Clinton's
wants you to believe, the M$M is on their side and this is the reason why;

Clinton & the Media

The nature of politics has been affected by the decline of descriptive journalism in the wake of Watergate and by television's rise. Real reporters now prefer smoking guns -- stories that offer the potential of major victory or defeat, if not of resignation, impeachment or indictment. Stories that merely reveal character or style, or open a window on our political experience, are downplayed or relegated to gossip or "lifestyle" coverage, especially if there is any suggestion -- without formal proof -- that something is amiss. In short, a legalistic rather than a literary standard of coverage has evolved. Politics, once the great American novel, has been reduced to a case study.

Absent a smoking gun, editors often favor stories that explain import, perceive perceptions, and reveal meaning. Detailed chronicles of the daily joys, inanities and mishaps of politics have faded. News, for example, has literally started to disappear from the front pages of the Washington Post, replaced in no small part by the reflections of various writers about what the unreported news means to them or is supposed to mean to us. This approach, a futile and often boring attempt to justify the paper's existence in a world of television and USA Today, creates some oddities, such as the Post commissioning a presidential poll and then failing to reveal the results for nine full paragraphs, during which one has waded deep into a tedious trek through E.J. Dionne Jr.'s analysis of the facts we might learn if we only hang on long enough.

Further, a priggishness has infected a generation of self-consciously respectable journalists. This can be easily seen by comparing the exuberant reportage of HL Mencken or AJ Leibling with the stolid work of today's analysts. The former was intensely descriptive while the latter is written in an ritualistic and abstract style that sucks life from politics and which, by making it all seem so boring, may actually be a cause of electoral apathy. If democracy is no more exciting than David Broder would have us believe, why bother to vote? When, rarely, today's columnists do go after a politician with vigor, the target is almost always someone on the political edges like Jerry Brown or Pat Buchanan rather than an establishment figure such as Clinton and Bush.

Here, on the other hand, is an example from the 1920 presidential coverage of Mencken. It clearly violates just about canon of contemporary objective journalism yet, with the benefit of hindsight, hardly suggests that Mencken misled his readers about the choice before them:

No one but an idiot could argue seriously that either candidate is a first-rate man, or even a creditable specimen of second-rate man. Any State in the Union, at least above the Potomac, could produce a thousand men quite as good, and many States could produce a thousand a great deal better. Harding, intellectually, seems to be merely a benign blank -- a decent, harmless, laborious hollow-headed mediocrity. . . . Cox is quicker of wit, but a good deal less honest. He belongs to the cunning type; there is a touch of the shyster in him. His chicaneries in the matter of prohibition, both during the convention and since, show the kink in his mind. He is willing to do anything to cadge votes, and he includes in that anything the ready sacrifices of his good faith, of the national welfare, and of the hopes and confidence of those who honestly support him. Neither candidate reveals the slightest dignity of conviction. Neither cares a hoot for any discernible principle. Neither, in any intelligible sense, is a man of honor.
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:53 PM
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1. Guess every one is out having fun

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