Monday, January 17

Safire's "The Depressed Press"

The Depressed Press from Bill Safire is another reason why you should follow the point of view of people you hardly ever agree with: Occasionally you find common ground. Hell, even that dweeb Brooks is worth keeping up on. I happen to think his worldview is misguided, but he ain't no lazy bum. There's elbow-grease in those editorials, and he states the views of that line of thinking a lot more eloquently than any blogger. Anyhow, to Safire's lapidary prose:

America's quality media are now wading through the Slough of Despond. Our self-flagellation, handwringing and narcissism threaten our mission to act as counterweight to government power. Hear the wailing: The bloggers are coming! The Bible-thumpers are cursing our secular inhumanism! The plumber judges are plugging our leaks! The Yahoo president ducks our questions and giggles at our gaffes! News is slyly slanted as bias rears its head! Cheer up. Despite the recent lapses at CBS and previous mishaps at The Times and USA Today, here's why mainstream journalism has a future. ... Here's the good news: Bad news is newsier than good news. Even when media try to be "fair and impartial," they can be expected to annoy rather than please the party in power. That's because clean government needs a snooping adversary, not a cheerleader; the Outs need help from the press to hold the Ins accountable. Today that media bias is undeniably liberal. That's natural when conservatives are the Ins; five years ago, the bias often ran the other way. As future elections near, that tilt must disappear from news pages to let the voters do the tilting. Some mainstreamers flopped on necessary election evenhandedness in 2004 and should be grimly thankful for a corrective kick in the teeth from other media, bloggers and righteous right-wingers.

Nicely said, you crafty old fox! We're going to miss ya.


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