neljapäev, mai 13, 2004

Objectivity, Bush-Style

Josh Marshall, from the Washington Times:

The president prides himself on his ability to detect bias in ostensibly objective news stories.

"My antennae are finely attuned," he said. "I can figure out what so-called 'news' pieces are going to be full of opinion, as opposed to news. So I'm keenly aware of what's in the papers, kind of the issue du jour. But I'm also aware of the facts."

Those facts are extracted from news stories each day and presented to the president by a half-dozen aides, Mr. Card among them.

"Since I'm the first one to see him in the morning, I usually give him a quick overview and get a little reaction from him," Mr. Card explained. "Frequently, I find that his reaction kind of reflects [first lady] Laura Bush's take."

Indeed, the president often cites articles that Mrs. Bush flags for greater scrutiny, even when he has not personally slogged through those stories. Mrs. Bush routinely delves more deeply into the news pages than her husband, who prefers other sections.

Bush has a finely attuned sense of bias in news stories, but not in information provided by his aides. This is frightening on many levels. Among them, Bush appears to be terrified to encounter an opinion that differs from his own. And he seems to have bought into the right wing myth of the liberal media far more than an intelligent observer should. What he considers to be clouding his optimism is what the rest of us might call, you know, getting all of the facts. More importantly, his wife reads the news more carefully than he does. The first lady follows the news more carefully than the president. And he adopts her opinions. He cites articles he hasn't even read. This is how ill-informed the man is.

Is it really any wonder he gets his facts wrong so much?

Also, I would really like to know why Bush lied to Brit Hume and said he doesn't read the newspaper at all. What purpose did that serve? Who is impressed by that? Who is so ass-backwards stupid that they want their president to avoid all news and opinion that disagrees with him? In what way is that remotely admirable?

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