February 25, 2005

Froomkin gets testy

Wow! Dan Froomkin laid out all the contradictions in what Bush says is his view of himself as a democratic leader:

It was an amazing moment: After the introductory comments, Andrey Kolesnikov, a correspondent for the Russian business newspaper Kommersant, got up and said -- albeit not so succinctly, and not in English -- Hey, no wonder you guys see eye to eye! You're both authoritarians.

This prompted Bush to launch into a possibly unprecedented defense of himself as a democratic leader. He did it by describing his view of the country.

And while Putin didn't challenge what Bush said, there have been some news reports of late that suggest that things may not be as black and white as Bush said.

"I live in a transparent country.

Cadre grows to rein in message; Ranks of federal public affairs officials have swelled under Bush to help tighten control on communiques to media, access to information, Newsday, Feb. 24, 2005; Administration Paid Commentator; Education Dept. Used Williams to Promote 'No Child' Law, Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2005; Groups raise concerns about increased classification of documents, GOVEXEC.com, Oct. 27, 2004.

"I live in a country where decisions made by government are wide open and people are able to call people to -- me to account, which many out here do on a regular basis.

High Court Backs Vice President; Energy Documents Shielded for Now, Washington Post, June 25, 2004; Mr. President, will you answer the question?, NiemanWathchdog.org, Dec. 3, 2004; Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy, Washington Post, Jan. 16, 2005 (in which Bush says: "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections.")

"Our laws and the reasons why we have laws on the books are perfectly explained to people. Every decision we have made is within the Constitution of the United States. We have a constitution that we uphold.

How U.S. rewrote terror law in secrecy; White House group devised new system in aftermath of 9/11, New York Times, Oct. 24, 2004; In Cheney's Shadow, Counsel Pushes the Conservative Cause, Washington Post, Oct. 11, 2004; Slim Legal Grounds for Torture Memos; Most Scholars Reject Broad View of Executive's Power, Washington Post, July 4, 2004.

"And if there's a question as to whether or not a law meets that constitution, we have an independent court system through which that law is reviewed.

• Recount 2000: Decision Sharpens the Justices' Divisions; Dissenters See Harm to Voting Rights and the Court's Own Legitimacy, Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2000; Scalia Won't Sit Out Case On Cheney; Justice's Memo Details Hunting Trip With VP, Washington Post, March 19, 2004.

"So I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity, and we resolve our disputes in a peaceful way."

Torture at Abu Ghraib, the New Yorker, May 10, 2004; Ground War Starts, Airstrikes Continue As U.S. Keeps Focus on Iraq's Leaders, Washington Post, March 21, 2003.

Could there be hope for the press after all?

Posted by Linkmeister at February 25, 2005 10:18 AM

Could there be hope for the press after all?


Most people in this country will never see even the print edition of the WaPo, let alone the electronic page you link to.

Until we find a way to reach the main lode of ordinary people in this country, we're just fooling ourselves that we will defeat these criminals in our lifetimes.

We have to change something in the electronic media -- the ordinary broadcast television and radio -- or else figure out how to "go around" those major media outlets.


Posted by: Ralph at February 25, 2005 11:07 AM

I'm with Ralph. The corporate media is more 'entertainment' than hard news. I thing Left Blogstonia is the way to 'go around' the media. Don't you think the pols read the blogs, the big ones anyway? The media sure does. Let's see what happens with Howard Dean as DNC chair. He knows how to use the internets to get the message out. I also think Bush is shooting himself in the foot with Social Security and we might see good things happen in the Congress in '06 because of it.

Posted by: The Fixer at February 28, 2005 10:34 AM

I should have ended that sentence with the parenthetical: "(he said plaintively)."

Posted by: Linkmeister at February 28, 2005 10:46 AM