Bullitt's Bros

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Media Bias

Here is CNN's current headline (as of 10:08 am, EST):

"Can Bush find an exit?

"The Iraq Study Group this week will advise President Bush to begin the biggest foreign policy course correction of his presidency. The group will call for rekindling peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis and holding an international conference that would lead to direct talks with Iran and Syria. Will Bush listen, or will stubbornness prevail?"

Admittedly, this is from Time Magazine. But still, this is a pretty clearly biased headline. Look, I'm no fan of the Bush administration, but it's not obviously "stubbornness" to resist the ministrations of the Baker Commission. I mean, this is assuming that the Baker Commission is some omniscient body. To me--and to other people, like Mickey Kaus and Bob Wright, my nerd-heroes from bloggingheads.tv--it's not at all obvious why we should listen to the recommendations of well-known Iraq experts Vernon Jordan, Ed Meese, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Leon Panetta.* I'm not sure stubbornness is the only explanation for someone's not listening to the Iraq Study Group, even a stubborn president like W.

*--Admittedly the rest of the commission--Jim Baker, Lee Hamilton, Larry Eagleburger, William Perry, Chuck Robb, and Alan Simpson--have lots of foreign policy experience (like Rumsfeld and Cheney), but only Baker can be said to be an Iraq "expert" (to about the same degree as Cheney). And even if they were all experts, it doesn't follow that anyone should listen to them!** They could be nutbags!

**-This is not to say that the current policy in Iraq is working.


  • Perhaps--perhaps--the unwillingness to listen to the ISG is symptomatic of an Administration that doesn't listen to anyone (including, from the recent leaked memo, Rumsfeld)?

    Not trying to argue, just clarify. Really.

    By Blogger kmosser, at 10:41 AM  

  • Well, I always thought the unwillingness of the Bush administration to listen to people extended to Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld, and Cheney. But apparently Rumsfeld wasn't a part? Or maybe there's a four-person groupthink such that when Rumsfeld disagrees they immediately disavow him?

    The interpretation I favor, though, is that Bush sees election results as the only support he needs for his policies. No need to listen to experts--the American people will judge for him. So, the 2004 victories shows him that his policy must be going well, or at least well enough, so he continues it. The 2006 defeats, though, connvince him that he's messed up, so he fires Rummy and publicly upbraids Rove. If my interpretation is right, then the administration--in particular, Bush, because, at the end of the day, the buck stops with him--does listen to people; it's just that those people (the voters) don't have any policy expertise, so it's not clear they should be the ones listened to.

    By Blogger Bobcat, at 6:19 PM  

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