Thursday, March 25, 2004
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An interesting correlation
Mickey Kaus says what I was thinking:
[But that contradicts Noam Chomsky's thesis that the media has been bought and paid for by Bush!--ed. You did that just to link to Chomsky's new blog, didn't you? Er, yes - but his permalinks don't seem to work--ed.]
CLARIFICATION: Commenters on this post seem to think that I think this is more than a coincidence. I don't -- and I'm assuming Mickey's tongue is mostly in his cheek as well.posted by Dan on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM
“Let the media do his work for him.”
The media are doing the best to help John Kerry---the candidate supported by Noam Chomsky. One is almost cynical enough to believe that they receive their marching orders from Terry McAuliffe. Instapundit is already calling Richard Clarke a liar. This means that in another week he will be toast. It usually takes around seven days before the liberal media will no longer be able to run interference for someone like Clarke. They have done everything but throw the proverbial kitchen sink at President Bush. What will the liberal media do next? Could this be their last gasp shot?posted by: David Thomson on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
I think the more logical inference is that the Clarke controversy has primarily hurt Bush's numbers and helped out John Kerry. This was fortunate for Kerry. Instead of looking Presidential and calmly confident with aplomb, Bush's advisers have to project a strong attack which is blasting Clarke publicly. This however will whoever people believe, cause Bush to look less above the fray than as a person frantically scarbbling to get on top of the fray.posted by: Oldman on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
I wasn't going to say anything about this before, but now that he's back, it's strange to me..
I do wonder if he didn't try to vacation during the 9/11 hearings so he'd not trip over his tounge, making comments on the testimony before it was all out. also saves him the trouble of being called on making a political issue of 9/11.
And then, there's the idea that Clarke's book is another tie-in. This release timing cannot be coincidental, in my view.
“I think the more logical inference is that the Clarke controversy has primarily hurt Bush's numbers and helped out John Kerry.”
Isn’t that what I said? One poll had Bush up by six point. However, the drop in the poll numbers for Bush is very small. It’s almost like most American voters are waiting to see if Richard Clarke is telling the truth.
“Instead of looking Presidential and calmly confident with aplomb, Bush's advisers have to project a strong attack which is blasting Clarke publicly. This however will whoever people believe, cause Bush to look less above the fray than as a person frantically scarbbling to get on top of the fray.”
Nonsense. The Bush administration has to say very little about Richard Clarke. He has already been caught lying. He is doing himself in.
That's a stupid observation. Kerry was taking hits; his numbers sank. Bush is taking hits now, and his numbers sank.
Don't be stupid.posted by: praktike on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Bithead: It was held up for three months by the clearance squad at the White House (by contrast, I think Woodward's book took 3-4 nanoseconds).posted by: Norbizness on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Dear Dan Drezner, you can't seriously believe this conspiracy nonsense " the media is doing Kerry's work for him". Did you watch Clarke's testimony: it didn't need any media help or spin to be damaging to Bush. As a matter of fact, many networks went out of their way to try to damage Clarke's credibility instead of adressing the substance of his charges.
For those who think Kerry's vacation was motivated by a desire to stay out of the coming fray: it's quite possible.
But I'd like to point out that his game was a bit off just before he took his break. And the latter reason was accepted by Dan and many posters here at the time as making perfect sense.posted by: ch2 on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
You guys have got to be kidding me. Listen to yourselves. The "liberal media" is doing no more than reporting the facts, which is that a former administration official is taking it to the Bush team in a serious way. Whether you think Clarke is a partisan shill or a patriot, the previous statement is undeniable. What are the papers supposed to do? A cover story on spring training? Kerry is playing this one very smart. While Bush mixes it up with a footsoldier, Kerry stays out of the way. If you are Kerry, you do not want to make the news now, for any reason. Even if Clarke is "doing himself in," who cares? He is putting doubt and questions into the minds of Americans (at least those who have not already completely made up their minds). That is the main, and critical outcome of this whole exchange.
"Instapundit is already calling Richard Clarke a liar. This means that in another week he will be toast." I just couldn't let this one go. You don't really believe this, do you? Of course Instapundit is calling him a liar, just as Kos calls him a patriot. They are both completely and utterly partisan, and anyone who looks to either for balanced information is insane.posted by: Claudius on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Thomson, I don't know what kind of reality warp you've been in but this sentence is factually and verifiably dead wrong. Among others, Dick Cheney, Scott McClellan, Condi Rice, Wolfowitz, and Stephen Hadley as well as others have been out in force attacking Clarke sometimes on multiple shows or channels. I don't think they'd be doing this if they didn't have to say a great deal about Clarke.
Now I think that Clarke is a good servant of the public who unfornately is being attacked for rather minor discrepencies in his past actions. If the same standard was being applied to the Admin that they're applying to Clarke, the impeachment hearings would already be starting.
However, it is pure fantasy whoever you believe to state that the Administration has very little to say about him when the storm of their accusaions has been sucking the oxygen out of the media for the past week and is still going on.
Again, Dave Thomson you prove that you are not so much wrong as completely deluded about reality.posted by: Oldman on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
How crazy are the liberal media? Just how bad do they wish to destroy President Bush. I just found this story on the Drudgereport:
“Visit by Bush to snarl roads, spur protests”
“President Bush will swoop into Boston for a quick fund-raiser this afternoon that could net his campaign $1 million and also draw several thousand protesters, force the closure of a school, and disrupt traffic near the Park Plaza Hotel.”
The liberal media are in the pockets of Terry McAuliffe. There is no other way to interpret these relentless atacks on the Bush administration. it is getting downright ridiculous. Thankfully, the Richard Clarke will soon disappear. If it’s not Valerie Plame, it’s Richard Clarke, and only God knows what is next.posted by: David Thomson on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
“Again, Dave Thomson you prove that you are not so much wrong as completely deluded about reality.”
You have incredible chutzpah to accuse someone of being deluded. Anyone who claims to still be a Republican, but supported Howard Dean and holds views totally alien to that party’s positions has no leg to stand on. You must have studied logic from deconstructionist Stanley Fish and postmodernist Michael Foucault.posted by: David Thomson on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
David, are you saying that a visit by Bush to Boston will not snarl roads and spur protests?
And btw, Terry's budget is about $15 million. Not a lot to hand out bribes, there.
And btw, that's a cut little clarification. Ha ha ha, funny Kaus and Drezner.posted by: praktike on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
errm that's "cute"posted by: praktike on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Chomski is clinically deranged. That is all.posted by: Mark Buehner on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Mr. Thompson scores a perfect 10 on the unintentional comedy scale with this bon mot: "How crazy are the liberal media? Just how bad do they wish to destroy President Bush. I just found this story on the Drudgereport"
“Because Drudge is just a straight-shooter with no political agenda whatsoever, like that plain-talking Mr. Limbaugh.”
Matt Drudge is not reporting the story. He is merely linking to the Boston Globe website. Read the article for yourself.
“David, are you saying that a visit by Bush to Boston will not snarl roads and spur protests?”
Of course, such a visit will “snarl roads and spur protests.” Nonetheless, this is not the standard way that journalists cover such a visit. This aspect does not deserve a headline. It is the slant which concerns me. I’m sure that a Bill Clinton or John Kerry visit would not be highlighted in such a manner.
“CLARIFICATION: Commenters on this post seem to think that I think this is more than a coincidence. I don't -- and I'm assuming Mickey's tongue is mostly in his cheek as well.”
I am, however, serious as a heart attack. John Kerry wears poorly while campaigning to the middle of the road voter. It is definitely better for him to let the liberal media attack President Bush---and simply stay out of the way. President Bush last night joked about the missing weapons of mass destruction. This is something that Kerry is unable to do. He comes across as stiff and a member of the liberal wealthy elite.
Poor David Thompson.
He's been suckered.
He decries liberal elitism even as he supports the administration with perhaps the most elite-oriented policies since Coolidge and Hoover.posted by: praktike on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Would anyone from the conservative majority here allow for the possibility that Kerry is taking a family vacation at approx. the same time that many people take one (spring break, discount season, etc...)?
"Matt Drudge is not reporting the story. He is merely linking to the Boston Globe website. Read the article for yourself."
Thanks, I did. I live in Boston, actually. See, Matt Drudge is cherrypicking an article which supports his thesis that the media is all a bunch of libruls. This article, however, is only one data point, and does not in itself provide a conclusive data set. For example, the two Boston Dailies which greeted me in the Dunkin' Donuts this morning (Boston, remember?) sported the following cover articles:
The Globe: "Clarke hits terror effort, apologizes for Sept. 11" as the lede, with "Health Plans Set Care Surcharges" as the second lede.
The Herald: A giant picture of Beyonce (I kid you not) and an article about Mayor Menino getting in a snit with the Fire Department: "Mayor hoses Fire Dept.: Won’t let them sing tonight at Bush bash"
So, in other words, Drudge's damning article about how Bush's visit will attract protestors and snarl traffic (which it will) isn't even on the front page. You've got to go digging for the librul bias (such as it is), while the most prominent pages of the newspapers (and the most prominent on their web sites, as well) display little discernable bias. Unless you consider reporting Clarke's testimony to be evidence of a liberal bias. Which you probably do.posted by: Claudius on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
I am not a big believer in a "liberal media conspiracy." Still, Spin makes a huge difference to the Clarke story. Today's Chicago Tribune reports Clarke's testimony blasting Bush on page 1. Then comes a statement that Administration officials responded by attacking Clarke's testimony. Readers must follow the jump to learn that Clarke himself described Bush's anti-terrorism record very differently in 2002. Clarke's prior, inconsistent statements are *fact*, not a product of the Rebublican Attack Machine. If this fact had been reported in the lede or at least on page 1, the Trib's story would have been much less harmful to the President and IMO more balanced.posted by: Mark on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Good point, Mark. However, the memo from 2002 was mentioned in just about every reputable news story I've read. It hasn't been buried. And, it really isn't the lede. Clarke's testimony is the story. That's the main event. The 2002 briefing is background to that story. It really is secondary to the hearing.posted by: Claudius on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
“I am not a big believer in a ‘liberal media conspiracy.’”
I also do not believe that the liberal American media are consciously conspiring against Republicans. It’s more of a tacit understanding. The problem is that they live in an echo chamber where everybody essentially thinks alike. A minimum of 80% of all journalists are registered Democrats. They can virtually go through the whole day without confronting an opposing opinion. The late New York Times film critic Pauline Kael truthfully stated she was stunned that Richard Nixon defeated George McGovern. All of her friends voted for the liberal Democrat candidate. Unfortunately, I’m sure she wasn’t kidding.
What about the European and Middle Eastern journalists? I strongly suspect that many of these slime balls accepted bribes from Saddam Hussein and other dictators. The crisis of distorted news reporting is far greater in these countries. CNN embarrassed itself by sucking up to the former Iraqi tyrant---but I don’t think any of their employees received money from him.posted by: David Thomson on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
It is perfectly consistent to oppose Bush, and then to support someone for purely the purpose of removal of Bush from office.
'The enemy of my enemy' is a very ancient pragmatic principle.
You theory only holds if one assumes that everyone always acts from ideological grounds. I don't have to share ideological ground with Democrats in order to join with them to help stop the madness of this Administration.
And I would vote for Bush if he only stopped the insanity. So I'm not a "Bush-hater".
Again you ignore verifiable facts in the pursuit of your attempt to frame everything from a partisan and ideological paradigm.
You were wrong about the Administration's not having much to say about Clarke, and you're wrong about my motive in supporting Dean.posted by: Oldman on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Claudius -- Of course Clarke's actual testimony, not his 2002 interview, was the lede. But putting Clarke's 2002 interview 9 paragraphs down, on a back page, is close to 'burying' it. And framing Clarke's prior statement not simply as a fact, but rather an element of the administration's effort to challenge Clarke's credibility suggests doubt where none exists. There is a big difference between a story that says, in the second paragraph, that Clarke's testimony contradicted his own prior statements, and the Trib's version: "The White House, meanwhile, released the transcript from an August 2002 news briefing in which it had previously promised Clarke anonymity. In the briefing, Clarke defended the Bush administration's actions leading up to the attacks." The 'confidentiality' issue is a red herring, the stark factual difference in Clarke's statements is barely hinted at.posted by: Mark on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
While you may be joking, I'm assuming Kaus has a serious problem.
I rarely wander onto his blog page, but every time I do, I find him complaining about/ criticizing/ bemoaning Kerry. Kaus seems to dislike Kerry personally a lot. Kaus also seems to have lost the ability to provide any insight into anything beyond how likeable Kerry isn't. Kaus rarely does sound analysis or provides any real arguments/information on issues.
It's really wierd actually. Sorry to prattle on about it, but I truly find it fascinating. I can't understand WHY Kaus is so focused on Kerry in such a narrow way. Much like the Bush administration's take on Iraq. I can't understand this because it seems like such a bizarre tunnel vision, and I just have to wonder WHY? Why, when there are so many important issues out there, so many crucial foreign policy decisions, so many practical policy debates, so much else to argue about, Why does Kaus get obsessed with Kerry's personality and Bush get obsessed with Iraq? Why not someone/something else? Why Kerry in a world with 99 other senators, 50 governors, over 400 representatives, etc? Why Iraq in a world with Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the former USSR, etc?posted by: MDtoMN on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
And btw, Terry's budget is about $15 million.
How about the $100+ million he made on Worldcom? Shouldn't he give some of it back to the party?posted by: Scott on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
I don't know if Kaus has "a serious problem," but his recent fixation on Kerry has been a little ... strange. There's a peculiar fetishism going on there.posted by: Claudius on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Dan, your clarification is duly noted. But I personally doubt that Kaus was joking.posted by: ch2 on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
Let's be a little realistic here. You try campaigning for several months straight like Kerry had to and you'd need a vacation too. I doubt Kerry had any idea that this book was coming out. I think it is intelligent of him to read it before commenting, sort of hearkens back to the old days of actual political discourse among people instead of just sound bites.
The other thing I have seen that cracks me up is people complaining about Kerry's absence in the Senate in 03 while he was campigning, yet I doubt they will make statements about how often Bush will be out of the White House having fundrasiers.posted by: Kat on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
For the record, how many vacations has Bush taken as president? How many days? And how often does he put himself through the more grueling aspects of the presidency? Honestly, the man just doesn't work as hard as Clinton or his Dad.posted by: MDtoMN on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
but his permalinks don't seem to work--ed.]
Neither do his arguments, as a rule...posted by: Bithead on 03.25.04 at 12:34 PM [permalink]
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