web counter Media Lies: The meaning of Ra<sup>th</sup>ergate

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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The meaning of Rathergate

Drudge links to this interesting take on the Rathergate affair and its aftermath. With surprising candor, Howard Fineman admits that the mainstream press was biased all along. (Now you tell us!) Unlike others in the media, Fineman is wise enough to recognize when the game is over.
Bush doesn't hate the AMMP (the American Mainstream Media Party - ed) (indeed, he likes his share of reporters on a personal basis). He just refuses to care about what it's up to. The terrorist attack of 9/11, and the added security concerns it fueled, have given the White House a new reason to keep the AMMP at bay. Pools are "tighter," more and more events are "closed press," and those that are open are to be viewed at a distance, if at all.

In this situation, the last thing the AMMP needed was to aim wildly at the president — and not only miss, but be seen as having a political motivation in attacking in the first place. Were Dan Rather and Mary Mapes after the truth or victory when they broadcast their egregiously sloppy story about Bush's National Guard Service? The moment it made air it began to fall apart, and eventually was shredded by factions within the AMMP itself, conservative national outlets and by the new opposition party that is emerging: The Blogger Nation. It's hard to know now who, if anyone, in the "media" has any credibility.

And, as Walter Cronkite would say, that's the way it is.
I think Fineman only grudgingly grants credit to bloggers, but even that is miles ahead of many in the media.