Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Blame where blame is due

Deroy Murdock does an incredibly good job of summarizing the failures at every level -- local, state and federal. I've been almost irrationally hostile -- just almost, not totally -- to the media pile-up on President Bush, assigning to him every minute aspect of blame, including a God-like control over wind and water. Murdock, by putting things in perspective, makes it easier to see where each entity failed, and makes me less defensive about the things the Feds actually did wrong. Having said that, given Press animus to the President, and the MSM's overriding need to blame Bush at all costs, Bush could have had the entire U.S. Army there the minute the levy broke, and could have ridden at the head of the column blowing a bugle, and the Press still would have found something to carp about. Right now, in that imaginary scenario, I'm thinking about charges of self-aggrandizement and over-reaching federal powers, but I'm sure the MSM could do better. I've mentioned before how effective the MSM is at its secondary job of bringing down the White House, even though miserably inept at its first job of conveying accurate information to the American public. Indeed, it uses its failures in the first job as ammunition fr the second. I get daily evidence of the MSM's negative power through a friend who considers herself extremely well-informed, because she reads the San Francisco Chronicle, and watches ABC and CNN. When she says, as she does every day, that it's Bush's fault, but scarcely surprising because he's such a disgusting human being (with that "smirk"), I invariably recite one of the facts Mr. Murdock so gracefully distills in his article. She is unimpressed. Mention that the Governor of Louisiana refused to allow the federal government entry, or the Red Cross, or the Salvation Army, and you will get the non sequitur that the federal government knew a Hurricane was coming and should have done something. The fact that the federal government could not at law have done anything without state permission is irrelevant, mostly because of that smirk. Even though my relative is not a New York Times reader, I'm thinking of calling this "New York Times Derangement Syndrome" after another liberal friend of mine who rejected all legitimate information hostile to Cindy Sheehan on the grounds that this information had not appeared in the pages of the NY Times. And I'll ask again as I've asked before -- with the example of Pravda before us, how can you have a legitimately functioning democracy (small "d"), when you have a corrupt or deliberately ill-informed press? And it's no answer to say that the Press is free here, because it's free of government constraint. That is true, but our Press has become in thrall to a single party. Take that bias and add to it the market dominance of these damaged purveyors of information, a dominance shaped by years in power (before they were so corrupt or before their corruption became so blatant), and you have a serious problem in a democracy whose viability the Founders predicated in part on the open flow of information from a free press, and from healthy verbak argument between combatants who honestly state their political affiliation. UPDATE: By the way, this will give you a little idea about the serious problem we face from those with NY Times Derangement Syndrome -- in other words, how dangerous people are who believe they're getting accurate info from that rag.