Monday, August 30, 2004

am i splitting hairs ?

maybe I'm being picky. perhaps its a bit trite. but if the NYT intends to simply mouthpiece the imaginary stylings of some GOP PR flacks, it would be nice if they wrote 'paid advertising' at the bottom of the page (wait, is that what putting Elizabeth Buhmiller's name in the byline means ?).

from sunday's incisive political piece:

On weekdays, aides say, the campaign essentially begins in the White House residence, where Mr. Bush rises at 5 a.m. to read the newspapers and check on the political news.
By 7 a.m., when he is in the Oval Office, aides say, Mr. Bush will frequently tell them about an article they have not seen and tell them to call the reporter and complain.

and yet, many of us remember with equal parts astonishment and sadness the brit hume interview:

HUME: How do you get your news?

BUSH: I get briefed by Andy Card and Condi in the morning. They come in and tell me. ... I glance at the headlines just to kind of a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories ...

HUME: Has that been your practice since day one, or is that a practice that you've ...

BUSH: Practice since day one. ... You know, look, I have great respect for the media. I mean, our society is a good, solid democracy because of a good, solid media. But I also understand that a lot of times there's opinions mixed in with news. ... I appreciate people's opinions, but I'm more interested in news. And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world.

now, i'm honestly quite comfortable with either of these admissions being accurate. but they cant both be. so which is it - the president is an informed, curious newshound who dishonestly embraces his party's anti-intellectualist fantasy identity ? or are his aides attempting a last minute makeover to conceal the uninformed everyman awaiting his morning spoon-feeding of information from the ideologically approved brains in the hall ?

it's going to be a long week . . .

- LH


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