Kleiman on Bush as Liar, Media’s Reporting of Same

Here’s some excellent analysis from Mark Kleiman on the difference between reality and spin, and how the media report on the discrepancy (when they do): GWB as Baghdad Bob.

Hannah Arendt once said that a modern liar doesn’t expect to get his story believed, but only to have it accepted as a legitimate opinion in competition with other opinions rather than as a falsehood in conflict with the truth. The news media version of “objectivity,” which treats statements and counter-statements as neutral facts but forbids the reporter to “editorialize” by comparing either with objective reality, clearly helps that strategy along.

But it turns out that there are limits.

Kleiman goes on to offer some fine examples from recent days: Ron Fornier of the AP, Jack Shafer of Slate, and the New York Daily News, which characterized Bush’s touring of the disaster zone on Friday as “a gesture meant to curb growing criticism,” and spoke of his having “posed for pictures with teary-eyed victims.”

2 Responses to “Kleiman on Bush as Liar, Media’s Reporting of Same”

  1. Jack Shafer Says:

    That should be “Jack Shafer of Slate.”

  2. jbc Says:

    That should be “Jack Shafer of Slate.”

    My apologies. I’ve fixed it in the article. I’m not sure why, but I seem to make that particular mistake a lot. I guess Slate and Salon occupy the same part of the dusty attic that is my brain.

    Anyway, thanks for the excellent article.

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