Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hear, hear

[posted by Callimachus]

Will Bunch reads the journalistic riot act to David Broder.

You, and your colleague Bob Woodward, and so many others, grew to admire the callous art of spincraft you'd been trained to expose -- so much so that when Hurricane Katrina devastated an American city and betrayed a stunning indifference to the fate of the nation's poorest, you could only write that Katrina "opens new opportunities for [Bush] to regain his standing with the public."

Your cynicism hardened as it grew -- to the point where your most famous quote is that "anybody who wants the presidency so much that he'll spend two years organizing and campaigning for it is not to be trusted with the office." Ideas didn’t matter. Do you even remember what you wrote in 2000, when Al Gore gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. You said:

I have to confess, my attention wandered as he went on through page after page of other swell ideas, and somewhere between hate crimes legislation and a crime victim's constitutional amendment, I almost nodded off.

And when “the dean of American journalism” writes that, no wonder that so many voters thought that Gore and George W. Bush were Tweedledee and Tweedledum, or that a protest vote for Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan in what proved to be the closest presidential election in modern American history wouldn’t matter.

Can't say I agree with Will's politics much, which are newsroom-typical, and I'd point out some symptoms he overlooks. But I'll sign on to his broader dignosis of the disease.