Monday, May 25, 2009

news-style product

I recall saying about the British press's coverage of the US elections that, in contrast to 2004 when the British papers were where you went to for actual information, this time around they delivered the most anodyne and skewed conventional wisdom possible, just three days late. They're still at it. Journalism!

If you were going to write about Dick Cheney, would you choose to get all your quotes from William Kristol, Grover Norquist, Michael Barone, and just to cap the lot, Dan Senor? Further, Senor is described as a "foreign policy advisor during the Bush administration". He was, of course, nothing of the sort; in fact, he was the highly ridiculous press spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, the man who actually said that he was "listening to the silent majority" of Iraqis. He was, in fact, a foreign policy advisor to the Rudy Giuliani campaign for the Republican nomination, that atavistic replay of the entire neocon fiasco.

Unsurprisingly, this little exercise provides a number of doggishly loyal quotes. We have to wait for the 37th par to learn that, whatever Dan Senor may think, the silent majority is remaining very silent indeed; Cheney's disapproval rating in representative polls stands well over 60 per cent. It's those professional standards of established journalism, I believe.

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