Wednesday, October 25, 2006

the news cycle

Now this from Reuters is just silly.

American University communications professor Jane Hall said that access [to conservative talk radio] appeals to politicians frustrated by a traditional news cycle they have little control over.

``It's a way to go around the filter, go directly to people who might be more inclined to agree. It's a friendlier audience,'' Hall said.

It's not entirely clear whether she actually said conservative politicians have little control over the news cycle or if this is what the reporter thinks she said. If the representation is accurate, is Hall suggesting that the political party that controls all three branches of government has no power over (1) what gets covered in the news (e.g. legislation, government initiatives, official announcements and press conferences) or (2) when it gets covered? The Bush/Rove White House has made manipulation of the news cycle an art. That is why we’ve had a different “plan” to win in Iraq every other week, with little discussion in the press about all those that came before; why David Kuo said on PBS last night that the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives managed to make lots of grand announcements while delivering very little; why we have new federal legislation every election year to ban gay marriage.

Conservative talk radio is a way for movement conservatives to send their message directly to the ears of conservatives unmediated by any opposing points of view, any attempt at balance, or any process of fact-checking or editing whatsoever. This is fine as far as it goes—talk radio serves the purpose for the right that the Shrillosphere is beginning to serve for the left. But it doesn’t make the stuff you hear on talk radio true or the dialogue any less distorted. In other words, it is the last refuge of many Republicans in office now.

And this whole victim schtick by the party in power is getting just a bit old.

Update: Wow, that was quick:
President Bush said today that he was “not satisfied” with the situation in Iraq and that the United States was shifting its tactics by working on a timetable with the Iraqi government that includes political measures to stem some of the violence. But he also emphasized that the plan was different from an “artificial” timetable under which American troops would be withdrawn.

Is this a new "new plan" or the same one from yesterday? I can't keep them straight anymore.

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