THE BLIND (QUOTES) LEADING THE BLIND (PRESS). If you want to know how political journalism came to be in the state it's in -- c.f. "prone" -- and, therefore, how the present administration came to run merrily amuck, look no further than the following paragraph from Saturday's Washington Post, in which various West Wing moles 'n trolls try to make Hamden chicken salad out of that which our fathers told us one could not make chicken salad. To wit:
The New York Times editorial page went a bit overboard in its anti-Bush tirade on the budget deficit. The basic point, that the Bush administration deficits are too large, is on the mark. (By the way, they could better make this point using the gross deficit [4.0 percent of GDP], which includes the money borrowed from Social Security, or better yet, just report the change in the ratio of gross debt to GDP.)
ON OBJECTIVITY. Wow, a bunch of youngjournalists who don't believe in objectivity. I dunno, I'm going to have to side withMike here. I rather like the idea of objectivity in reporting, by which I mean approaching the world with questions and letting the answers you get shape the story you write, rather than seeking only those facts that you can fit into a pre-conceived narrative.
JUST POSTED ON TAP ONLINE: DIVIDED WE STAND. The Democrats' problem is at once simple and, perhaps, impossible to solve, according to Terence Samuel. Theirs is the party that says we're all in this together. But who still believes that?
IDEOLOGY IN AMERICA. Thinking about Matt's post on ideological outlets, this is the sort of thing that's long been attractive to me. I really do think we need less "objective" news and more slanted, but transparent, coverage. The bias you know is better than the bias you don't. But one thing that worries me: A bunch of partisan outlets would be a problem. There's nothing honest or constant about their opinions, and so the whole advantage of knowing their beliefs evaporates when the beliefs become inconvenient and change.
OY. Here we go again. Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and this:
Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official said Friday.
The soldiers also allegedly burned the body of the woman they are accused of assaulting in the March incident, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case....
TIME OUT OF MIND. So, just to take a clear stand against the rising tide of overt Young
Fogeyhood around these parts, I wear baseball caps, okay? My current one comes from Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky. I wear them for comfort and for style, and because several centuries of Hibernian breeding left me with skin that is well-nigh translucent. I also wear them so that, when I read something like this, I have something handy I can throw across the room besides the obvious cursewords.
CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE. As The Weekly Standardreports, homelessness really is plummeting across the country. Some of it is due to the inevitable effects of a sustained economic expansion and the restoration of balance (and cash) to previously-strapped state and local governments. But some is due to Bush administration policy.
To paraphrase my friend Brad DeLong, "why oh why do newspapers have to use meaningless numbers when it is so easy to provide information." Today's example is a Washington Post article about a new rule that requires people to show proof of citizenship before they can be covered by Medicaid.
The article includes much useful information and comments from both proponents and opponents of the rule. Then it tells us that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this rule will save Medicaid $735 million over the next decade.
AGAINST OBJECTIVITY. I guess I appreciate what the Supreme Leader is getting at in his column when he says that "any civil society needs institutions in every realm of life -- in business, the law, the arts, what have you -- that take as their presumptive raison d�etre not ideology but its opposite, impartiality." On the other hand, does it really follow from that that we need The New York Times? After all, England, France, and -- as far as I know -- pretty much all European countries seem to get on just fine without a broadsheet that aspires to American-style neutrality.