Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The weekly embarrassment in my mail box

My husband has us subscribed to Newsweak, and so that horrible excuse for a news magazine confronts me every week in my mailbox. Newsweak still pretends to be an impartial news magazine, but I don't know how they think anyone could believe that. It's basically just a hatchet magazine for attacks on the President. Am I being hypersensitive? I don't think so. How about this week's cover which promises the following stories:

Power Outage DeLay: How 'The Hammer' Got Nailed The GOP: A Mounting Crisis of Competence & Cronyism
The magazine truly goes into full attack mode, as evidenced merely by the table of contents: "Bushes numbers are still down," "many are questioning whether the party in charge of the White House and Congress is competent enough to run things" [bolded emphasis in original], "Ethical clouds over the GOP," "Tom DeLay's Rise and Slide," "Can Bill Frist Be Investigated Without Fear or Favor," "DeLay's Rule by Zealotry," "Iraq : With an 'Undeclared Civil War,' Fading Dreams of Unity." Do the publishers and editors really believe that the fact that (at minimum) 7/10 of their reporters are Democrats or beyond is not going to affect the partiality of their coverage? Things go from disgusting to nauseating when you get to the hagiographic article about George Clooney and his new movie about Edward Murrow and his run-in with McCarthy. Here's some of the text, but be sure to have a barf bag beside you as you read, since you may need it:
It's party time, 2:30 in the morning, and George Clooney, a dapper, urbane Hollywood star of the old school, is surrounded, not surprisingly, by a small sea of women oohing and aahing over his latest movie. *** Each is rewarded with his devilish smile, and a gaze that signals rapt attention. Seemingly tireless, Clooney has been going full tilt since the previous morning, plugging his latest work, and he has hours to go before he sleeps. Famous for his revelry, his posse of loyal buddies, his practical jokes, the party boy will stay out until 8 a.m., when he finally dispatches his driver and calls it a night. Off screen, Clooney exudes the same easy charm that defines his movie persona—not something that holds true of most movie stars. But the actor, it turns out, has surprises up his sleeve.
Clearly, this is a wonderful man, charming, intelligent, focused, yadda, yadda, yadda. How could we not buy into his belief system:
Clooney and Grant Heslov's fine-chiseled script resonates with contemporary relevance. "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home," Murrow said in his 1954 McCarthy broadcast. The senator used fear to undermine traditional American freedoms and equate dissent with disloyalty. Any resemblance to the current administration's exploitation of 9/11 is no accident. *** "Good Night" arrives, post-Katrina, at what feels like a watershed moment in the relationship between the press and the presidency, and a turnaround in the public's attitude toward TV news. Clooney wants us to remember what reporting at its best can be. "In the end it all comes down to journalists," he says, looking relaxed on the day of his movie's festival debut. "They're the first writers of history. There is no civil-rights movement without journalists. There is no end of McCarthy. It's been a tough time for journalists—if you ask a tough question of this administration, on a rare occasion when they have a press conference, you're put in the back of the room, or you're Maureen Dowd and you get your credentials pulled. To question anything about them is meant to be unpatriotic."
Does anyone else find it a bit, well, disingenous when a press that ought to be reeling from the most dishonest, hysterial, biased and racist coverage in modern history is tearing up over a movie that shows a saintly, crusading reporter facing down the evil Republican government (never mind the McCarthy-ism started under Truman)? Also, did I miss something? When did Ms. Dowd get her credentials pulled? Blech. I feel slimed. There is a little good news, though. Or rather, there is one MSM member who hasn't been self-servingly charmed to death by Mr. Clooney. If you want a careful analysis of the movie's historical (or do I mean hysterical?) failings, check out Jack Shafer's article "Edward R. Movie : Good Night and Good Luck and bad history." That review demonstrates that the press was extremely slow in taking down McCarthy (and, indeed, although the review doesn't say, was complicit with him for a long time), and that Murrow self-admitted brought up the rear. The crusading journalism that so excites Clooney just wasn't there for a long time, and even then it was cautious. (Hat tip: Power Line.) [Category: .]