Friday, May 26, 2006

Blair and Bush - Dumb and Dumber

The Dumb was the content of Blair's and Bush's joint White House news conference last night. The Dumber was NPR's follow-up "analysis" provided by Ron Elving and Deborah Amos and hosted by Linda Wertheimer. NPR could have simply analyzed Bush's and Blair's speeches and answers to questions and then held these up to some kind of scrutinty. As Helen Thomas recently said in an interview, the role of a journalist should be to treat any official version of information with extreme scepticism. They could have pointed out that the main gist of Blair's and Bush's remarks was to lump all non-US/coalition violence in Iraq under one umbrella called terrorism, to claim that this violence is fueled by a hatred of democracy, and to claim that there is a real democratic, independent unity government in Iraq that will be victorious with US/coalition help. Then they could have held these ideas up to the harsh light of reason and reality. Instead, they focused on the most superficial aspects of the speech--how eloquent Blair sounds, Bush's "rather winning" humility, and how the tone of the speakers was "suprisingly frank." It is sad that with the stakes and the cost in human misery running so high in Iraq this is the best that NPR can do.

No comments: