Monday, December 12, 2005
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What's the difference between Time and Newsweek?
So I see that Time and Newsweek have dueling cover stories about George W. Bush, his recent political misfortunes, and his plans for the future. Both of them focus on Bush's insularity, his unwillingness to change course, and his general disdain for critics.
As near as I can discern it, there are four differences:
1) Tumulty and Allen seem to have slightly better sources within Bush's inner circle;Readers are encouraged to read both stories and post their thoughts. posted by Dan on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM
Frankly, Dan, I think you've told me as much about the Time and Newsweek coverage of this White House as I need to know.
I will confine myself here to expressing doubt that President Bush will pick up any useful ideas by breaking away from the reception line and circulating for a few minutes in the Red Room. He may get some petitions, from people asking for help with a specific problem; if he knows the questions to ask he may be able to get information he couldn't get from his staff. But serious ideas on major issues of policy aren't usefully discussed by people standing around in a crowded room holding a cup of eggnog in one hand and a plate of finger food in the others. Anyone who doubts this should try it sometime.posted by: Zathras on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
The Newsweek piece seemed - frothier, but then that's their trademark style isn't it? The perfect mirror of the conventional wisdom inside the beltway.
The historical comparisons were interesting, though they missed the best comparison of all it seems to me. They mentioned Lincoln though only in passing and to note that he brought opponents into his cabinet. And converted them, fired them, or kicked them upstairs as I recall.
Lincoln was notoriously compared to a baboon both in the press and in the 'brilliant' chanceries of Europe - notably that of Louis Napolean III. Does that remind anyone of a more current president?
The best comparison is, I think, to Harry Truman, who also endured a grinding war, nasty but disjointed opposition from the other party, and growing public disenchantment. Truman's reputation has stood well the test of time however, and Bush may well follow in his footsteps. I think Iraq may turn out to be one of those 'wins' which shows it's true importance over 20 or 30 years, not immediately. A little like Korea has worked out. South Korea only really bloomed politically in the past 15 years or so.posted by: Don Stadler on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
About the difference between Nancy Polosi and Harry Reid i'd say.posted by: Mark Buehner on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
Care to expand that remark, Mark?posted by: Don Stadler on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
Professor Bainbridge has a good post on this major groupthink problem in the white house.
He likens it to groupthink in corporations. Bad stuff.posted by: mike on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
"Care to expand that remark, Mark?"
I've find them both to be biased. Aside from a bi-weekly op-ed bone tossed to George F Will of course. And I mean biased by the Goldberg definition, i dont believe they are actively intending to slant their coverage (generally), but the backgrounds of Time and Newsweeks staff are so uniformly Manhattinite soft-liberal its impossible to escape.posted by: Mark Buehner on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
The Newsweek article is spun, but Newsweek and the Washington Post do not fabricate quotes of people the way the New York Times does. And they're not the only ones reporting how isolated Bush is.
Here are some quotes from a Bruce Bartlett column, plus a link to his column:
"Last year, for example, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind reported that a senior White House aide actually mocked him for living in the "reality-based community."
http://realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-12_13_05_BB.htmlposted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
But serious ideas on major issues of policy aren't usefully discussed by people standing around in a crowded room holding a cup of eggnog in one hand and a plate of finger food in the others.
No, but if people drink enough of the stuff, they might think they have. (At least they have at some of my parties.)
; )posted by: reader_iam on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
These articles amaze me. When you consider the thousands of Democrats that have publicly wished for the assassination of W. How else can we expect him to live?
Tom, what we're seeing are stories written by one group sealed into a bubble about another group sealed into a bubble. The difference is that members spend their entire professional life so sealed, while US Presidents often have much experience with reality.
This week and perhaps next the story is about Bush being 'sealed'. Gosh, and he's the very first it's ever happened to, correct? Well, I think not. I think the last president not so sealed was probably Calvin Coolidge, who retired in 1928.posted by: Don Stadler on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
Certainly not !! In the pursuit of democracy, we must purge all the Democratic Party and send them to Guantanomo Bay !!
Nonsense. Almost all previous Presidents have had contact with audiences that have not been carefully screened. The President admitted as much when he got an impromptu question at a recent meeting. But even Bush Sr. who was said to be out of touch, had more contact with the public.
Lots of nonsense in the comments on this thread. The notion that 'Democrats' should be outlawed is risible. Doesn't anyone remember the lunatic wing of the GOP during the 30's? Same wine, different bottle. The Republic survived.
And the idea that Bush is somehow more isolated than other 2nd termer becomes is a chimera as well. It's the conventional wisdom - this week, which means it's all anyone talks about.
Why do 'journalists' run in packs so much?posted by: Don Stadler on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
Republican Congressmen have complained a lot about how Bush is out of touch. Senators have swollen egos. Congressmen generally don't.
Staying in touch has become more and more of a problem for Presidents. It was a fatal problem for Bush 39. For a while I thought Bush 41 had learned from that, but evidently he hasn't.
Josh errs in focusing on the public. We're at war and there are security issues with public appearances by a President. The same was true for Franklin Roosevelt during World War Two.
Bush 41's limited contact with Congressmen indicates he has a real problem here.posted by: Tom Holsinger on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
"Bush has said he does not read the newspapers (actually, he does)."
I know that George Bush is a liar, but it never occurred to me that he would lie about that.
The irony of the Leftstream media accusing anyone else of living in a bubble is enough to upset the equilibrium of the universe.posted by: andrew on 12.12.05 at 09:51 AM [permalink]
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