Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By George: Howard Fineman's latest Newsweek piece is their variation on the current "Whither the Media?" theme. (Two things come to mind immediately. First, we're through the looking glass when the media begins pondering itself so aggressively. Two, anytime the media ponders anything this aggressively, it means that the story was over last week/month/year. In many respects, this was true even in the antedeluvian pre-new media age.)

Anyhoo, Fineman takes on the state of the so-called MSM, which he dubs the AMMP (American Mainstream Media Party -- which beats MSM for accuracy in labeling, if you ask me), and the take is good if not exactly earth-shaking. I think he hits it particularly squarely with this point:

Bush doesn't hate the AMMP (indeed, he likes his share of reporters on a personal basis). He just refuses to care about what it's up to.
Between total disdain and total lack of interest, which do you think galls the media the most? I'd bet that more than half of the media's anti-Bush sentiment comes from the recognition that the guy just won't jump through their hoops.

Sidenote: This can certainly be a bit of culture shock, particularly when recalling that Dubya's predecessor used to call up the media at home, late at night, and ask them, "Could ya come on over? And could ya bring yer hoops?" To give the metaphor a real Razorian working-over, their hoops were as predictable as his jumps, and as predictable as their praise of his jumps. (When was the last time any reporter wrote anything about Clinton that didn't use some sort of "troubled, but brilliant" formulation?) Clinton wasn't that skilled, that brilliant; he simply had a brilliant (and sociopathic) synergy with the media: the needed each other in a pretty sick way. At any rate, if you think about it, all the Dan Rather kind of shit is really nothing more than the media mooning for a guy who could give good soundbite and great scandal, the two things they love, and come back to them, begging to be kicked again.

These symptoms are all in the DSM-IV, if you care to look.

Second sidenote: Fineman is also right to note that the party that will play the Republicans to the MSM's Whigs is, naturally, "the Blogger Nation."

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