Tuesday, June 06, 2006

  • One more example of federalism spreading, i.e. do regionally what Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress have failed to do nationally. That's one way to return power to the states: install a completely inept president and out-of-touch congress.

  • I recently wrote that the GOP could do far worse than have NYC Mayor Bloomberg run for prez in '08. It won't happen since he's FAR too reasonable, forward-thinking and moderate. Example: of the the new taxi medallions to be auctioned, most will require the taxis to use alternative fuels or hybrid technology. He gets it.

  • It's not that surprising to learn that Jeb Bush used official State of Florida stationary to pen a letter thanking the Swift Boat group for smearing John Kerry. What's more amazing is the apparent lack of outrage by the citizens of FLA -- are these folks in a coma?

    To this day, Kerry continues to fight the baseless charges from the Swift Boat henchmen. Greg Sargent recently wrote:
    To the extent that the Swift Boat Liars were effective -- and that's in dispute -- it wasn't just because of their spending on ads. It was because the media amplified those charges for days and days, if not weeks, without examining them critically. When the press did get around to debunking the charges whatever damage there was had already been done. The media tried to shift blame for this to Kerry by arguing that he'd failed to respond aggressively. But here's the point: The press shouldn't have had to wait for Kerry to start hitting back before it started to report critically on what the Swift Boat Liars were saying. The simple fact that the media was amplifying the charges should alone have obligated them to take a critical look at them -- immediately.

    One of the key themes of this blog will be that a big problem with political reporting today is that its practitioners simply refuse to acknowledge their own role in shaping public perceptions. Thus it is that this Times piece can blithely observe that "the charges stuck" as if this happened by magic, when in fact the real reason this happened is that the media simply failed to be skeptical and aggressive at an absolutely critical moment. That failure, of course, is one of the reasons that Kerry is still a Senator -- and is still battling the Swifties today.
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