The Spinal Tap Media

Writing in The Guardian, Glenn Reynolds looks at the Washington media that goes to 11–and never modulates its volume:

As Daniel Henninger noted in the Wall Street Journal, it was a pattern we had seen before. “Have you ever noticed how,” Henninger wrote, “on a scale of one to 10, every untoward event in the life of the Bush presidency goes straight to a 10?

“The Abu Ghraib photos? A 10 forever. Dick Cheney catching a hunting buddy with some birdshot? An instant 10. The Bush national guard story? Total 10. How can it be that each downside event in this presidency greets the public at this one, screeching level of outrage and denunciation by the out-of-power party and a perpetually outraged media?

“There was a time when what has been called news judgment would deem some stories a five or six and run them on page 14 or deeper in the newscast … Not with this presidency. Every downside event – large, small and in-between – plays on the front page above the fold now. And when Dick Cheney accidentally pops Harry Whittington, old Harry Reid jumps up from his Senate leader’s desk faster than a Nevada jack rabbit to announce, one more time, that this ‘is part of the secretive nature of this administration’.

“Here are some of the political and media bonfires that have been lit on the White House lawn, stoked and reignited over the past five years: the ‘stolen’ 2000 election, Halliburton, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, Cheney lives in an ‘undisclosed location’, Abu Ghraib, torture at Guant




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