Why are you always so down on the major news media? Surely, they can’t be doing that bad a job.
Wondering in Wellington
* * *
Your question reminds me of a story I heard Alistair Cooke (I think) tell about Winston Churchill once, a thousand years ago. It went something like this:
Churchill was in a tavern with his friend and scientific advisor, Professor Lindemann: he asked him, “Prof, if you were to take all of the beer, wine and other spirits I’ve consumed in my life and pour them into this room, how much of it do you think would be filled?”
Lindemann set to work immediately on the relevant mathematical equations, concluding at last, “Winston, according to my calculations, if you were to pour all of the alcoholic beverages you’ve consumed in your life into this tavern, you’d fill it all the way up to the tip of your nose.”
At which point, Churchill, looking up at the high ceiling above him, answered,
“So little time. So much yet to be done.”
Frankly, my friend, your question about the major media puts me into something of the same state of mind: there’s simply no way, without filling an entire book, I could even begin to adequately explain why so much of what the major media has been doing in recent years appalls me. So, instead, I’m going to settle for giving you one example.
As you know, the approval rating for Congress now stands at a staggeringly low level: when last tallied, only 18 percent of Americans approved of the job Congress is doing. As Glenn Greenwald and other boggers have noted, there’s no mystery in this. Disapproval of the Democratic Congress is unusually high because, unlike the usual situation where members of the majority’s own party drive congressional popularity ratings up at least a little, in this case, rank and file Democrats are as down on Congress as Republicans.
There’s also no doubt as to why that’s true: Democrats (and many independents) are furious at congressional Democrats for repeatedly caving into Bush’s demands, particularly on the subjects of civil liberties and the war in Iraq.