Meanwhile, John Hinderaker of Power Line writes:
This is just unbelievable. Newsweek publishes a false report libelling the U.S. military, which contributes to riots and fatalities abroad, and, in the eyes of American journalists, who are the villains? The Bush administration, the military, and–how bizarre is this?–Pat Robertson. I guess he’s a villain for all occasions.
At some point, if I were running the administration, I would re-think whether it makes any sense to continue being polite and cooperative toward reporters.
I dunno–the tone of the Nixon Administration towards reporters was to be pugilistic (remember Spiro Agnew’s “Nattering Nabobs” speech? You can also watch the footage of Nixon’s press secretary Ron Ziegler in action in All The President’s Men. In contrast the Bush administration “being polite and cooperative toward reporters”, to borrow John’s phrase, has led to the New York Times, the L.A. Times, CBS, CNN and now Newsweek being driven absolutely crazy –and consequently, one by one having large swatches of their credibility demolished (with a little–well, a lot–of help from the Blogosphere).
It’s a strategy that’s been paying off handsomely by both a presidential administration that knows how to handle the press, and a press that’s so full of hatred, they largely consider themselves at war with the president and his voters.
Update: It’s a strategy that couldn’t have worked without “the new, new media“, including blogs, talk radio, and e-zines such as National Review Online and Tech Central Station. Speaking of which, in his Tech Central Station column, Glenn Reynolds believes that they’ve caused “old media” to reach the proverbial tipping point.