Sunday, May 08, 2005
Frank Rich On Laura Bush & Jeff Gannon
Frank Rich simply rules.
It's Sunday, so it's time for the latest Frank Rich column in The New York Times: "Laura Bush's Mission Accomplished".
Here's some of my favorite parts (but make sure you go read the article yourself...and stick in Dailykos for name and password if you're not registered with The Times):
"As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Drudge Report and the second anniversary of the Jayson Blair scandal, American journalists are in a race with the runaway bride for public enemy No. 1. Newspaper circulation is on the skids, the big three network anchor thrones are as precarious as King Lear's, bloggers are on the rampage, and the government is embracing fake reporters and threatening to jail real ones."
"Jonathan Klein, the new boss at CNN and a dinner attendee, hit the right note when, in an April speech to the National Association of Broadcasters, he made the "modest proposal" that the gala be canceled and that the White House Correspondents' Association "instead spend that time and energy creating standards - and enforcing them - for those who would call themselves White House correspondents." He meant Jeff Gannon, who masqueraded as a reporter at White House news briefings for two years before it was discovered that his news organization was a front for G.O.P. activists and that his most impressive portfolio had been as a model in ads for an escort service. But there's a bigger issue here than Mr. Gannon. The Washington press corps' eagerness to facilitate and serve as dress extras in what amounts to an administration promotional video can now be seen as a metaphor for just how much the legitimate press has been co-opted by all manner of fakery in the Bush years."
"Yes, Mrs. Bush was funny, but the mere sight of her "interrupting" her husband in an obviously scripted routine prompted a ballroom full of reporters to leap to their feet and erupt in a roar of sycophancy like partisan hacks at a political convention. The same throng's morning-after rave reviews acknowledged that the entire exercise was at some level P.R. but nonetheless bought into the artifice. We were seeing the real Laura Bush, we kept being told. Maybe. While some acknowledged that her script was written by a speechwriter (the genuinely gifted Landon Parvin), very few noted that the routine's most humanizing populist riff, Mrs. Bush's proclaimed affection for the hit TV show "Desperate Housewives," was fiction; her press secretary told The New York Times's Elisabeth Bumiller that the first lady had yet to watch it."
"It was only too fitting that Mrs. Bush's performance occurred on the eve of the second anniversary of the most elaborate production of them all: the "Top Gun" landing by the president on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln."
"Infotainment has reached a new level of ubiquity in an era in which "reality" television and reality have become so blurred that it's hard to know if ABC News's special investigating "American Idol" last week was real journalism about a fake show or fake journalism about a real show or whether anyone knows the difference - or cares."
All I can usually add to Frank Rich columns are superlatives.
Thank the heavens for Frank Rich.
I can't let this sentence fragment go without criticism: "the government is embracing fake reporters and threatening to jail real ones."
Sorry, Frank, I have to disagree.
Judith Miller is not one of the real ones. Not by a long shot.
Real ones don't habitually write fake news based on unnamed sources. Judith Miller does.
Judy's much worse than anyone that ever propagandized or plagiarized for Talon News. Much worse.
But so I don't end this post with a slight to my favorite journalist at The New York Times. I do want to thank Mr. Rich for one thing.
For referring to Talon News and GOPUSA as what they are instead of what they pretended to be: "a front for G.O.P. activists."
Although - althoughs don't always qualify as negatives - it would have been sweeter if Mr. Rich wrote "activists and operatives."
Sooner or later, the attention (or little attention that there is) will shift to the "news organization" and it's owner.
Sooner or later.
UPDATE - Thanks to The Daou Report at Salon.com for linking to this article.
If you're unaware of the work that I've done in proving that Talon News/GOPUSA "journalists" such as Jeff Gannon and Bobby Eberle plagiarized articles from the mainstream media - including The New York Times, Reuters, Associated Press and Fox News - many of my articles can be found at this link: Grand Old Plagiarism USA Archive. Follow the other links listed at the top of this blog to find and read more.
A key reason why Talon News plagiarized from the media was because they were helping the Bush Administration turn "bad" news into "good" news. In many cases, the Talon News "journalists" ignored the parts of the articles that reflected badly on the Bush Administration and just "reported" the "good" parts.
You'll soon be able to learn more about this at ePluribus Media, the new media organization composed of citizen journalists who have worked on Propagannon at Daily Kos and elsewhere. I'm a member of ePluribus and we've got a bunch of stories coming very shortly about the propagandistic plagiarism of GOPUSA.
There is a lot more to this story than just one "fake reporter" as you will soon see.