Monday, November 27, 2006

That's not the lede, it's the bunk

WHITE HOUSE -- President Bush is launching, heh, another round of global diplomacy, this time in Europe.
Anxiety is the lifeblood, the legal tender, of USian media that pose as news. See that then you see how it was that USian media had no choice but to stand shoulder to shoulder with George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani, and their co-stars of 2001, 2002, and 2003. There is no way to critique fear when fear is juice. You go with it, you know that right or not, papers will sell, advertisers will advertise, the public, once the initial shock is over, will seek again to anchor itself upon the sandbar of public-opinion-driven news, assuage itself with a new Hummer.

A newspaper of record like the New York times can always spin its wayward news judgments as effects of government malfeasance or, less appealing but still safe, lousy personnel. It takes no special skill to report stories, and little more to write them. But it takes exceptional talent to retroactively either justify them, or make them vanish without notice.

Given this, I suggest a working rule: Any news story that begins by telling us that some political leader, say Bush, has scuttled off to Latvia to discuss x, or y, with a, or b, is not news. Any story that tries to take it to "the next level," e.g., one that begins in this manner:
Escalating bloodshed and political tension in Iraq will shadow President Bush at a NATO summit this week... #
is the bunk. This sort of story needs to begin beforehand, back with Reagan, whose presidency in 1986 was in shambles, who hit the road even unto the very monumental Berlin Wall, to bravely beard the good Gorbachev, among other stunts, all calculated to get the 20-mule-team-borax shill off the stage with his trousers not entirely down around his ankles.

At this moment, any coverage of Bush that fails to indicate as much is merely what that wretched metaphor implies.


Blogger Juke said...

Where's Gabby Hayes when we need him most?

11/28/2006 8:29 PM  
Anonymous tom said...

"last seen sleeping with the June Taylor dancers," the NYT reports.

11/28/2006 8:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home