Rich Gardner | 04.28.2008
So just what exactly DID either the Bush Administration or the press corps accomplish over the past 7+ years?
Several years back, I heard about a high school girls cross-country track team. For a reason I forget, it didn't have much in the way of leadership for a whole school year. The girls slacked off and ran at a leisurely pace, didn't really try and didn't push themselves. Their poor performance really made itself felt at their year-end party. They realized that they had nothing to celebrate as they hadn't accomplished anything.
I remembered that story when reading about this years White House Correspondents' Association dinner. It was apparently a complete drag as the Bush Administration had nothing it had accomplished in the past seven-plus years that it could openly brag about. Katrina/New Orleans is something they may have regarded as a success, but obviously, they can't brag (at least not openly) about it. I mean, besides voter suppression and initiating bogus "voter fraud" (i.e., anti-likely-Democratic-voter cases) and getting the Iraq War extended into the next president's term, what can loyal Republicans brag about?
The press corps? The statement by the evening's entertainer was "It is your task to watch the government, to make sure they do not exceed their power. Well done on that, by the way, the last eight years." But the press corps did nothing of the sort. On March 8th of this year, President Bush vetoed a bill tha would have outlawed waterboarding. That very evening, Bush attempted some off-key warbling and the press corps stood to applaud him. One could perhaps argue that the correspondents were applauding his singing and that his veto of the bill wasn't considered to be relevant, but it's not like their publications made a big fuss over the veto, either (Our local paper covered it, but it's hard to say where in the paper the story appeared. A Yahoo search shows many, many more alternative media sources on the story than it does traditional media sources).
The story of networks using retired generals as TV commentators, generals who were still working for the Pentagon to spread the Bush Administration's stories, was put out on the 20th of April. On the 24th of April,
Judy Woodruff stated:"[W]e invited Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and NBC to participate, but they declined our offer or did not respond."
---------- Media Matters for America
that, in contrast with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
on Comedy Central, as of 11:59 p.m. on April 22, none of the following outlets had covered the Times
report on shows whose transcripts are available in the Nexis database: PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and NPR. A follow-up search* on April 25 determined that as of 11:59 p.m. ET on April 24, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox News had still not covered the report during news programs whose transcripts are available in the Nexis database.**
So no, it really can't be said that the traditional media had anything to celebrate, either. But Froomkin gets in a good one:
Throngs surrounded aging professional floozy Pamela Anderson, a guest of Bloomberg, who happily posed for countless photos in a dress that exposed the preponderance of her two most outstanding achievements.
Update: Clinton and Obama finally weigh in on the TV generals.