Lettuce & Pickles

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes


Jonathan Alter: Altered Reality

Jonathan Alter lets us in on a little secret:
Cheney has simultaneously expanded the power of the vice presidency and reduced its accountability. Because his health made him the first veep since ancient Alben Barkley (under Harry Truman) with no realistic chance of moving up, he felt he could change the rules. Fears of terrorism made his decision to go to an "undisclosed location" understandable, but he has taken secrecy about his whereabouts to inexplicable lengths. News organizations went along with this partly to save money by not sending reporters to cover his trips. They rationalized it by explaining that Cheney never said anything to reporters anyway.

Finding it funny that they'd never mentioned what's in those last two sentences before, I read on...
When reporters wanted the public to see Jimmy Carter was being swamped politically, they focused on how he was attacked on vacation in a canoe by a "killer rabbit." When the press believed that Reagan was tilting toward the rich with his hard-to-explain tax policy, Nancy Reagan's acceptance of expensive White House china briefly became an issue. These feeding frenzies are unattractive, but the alternative is worse—reporters knowing an important truth about politicians and not letting the public in on it.

The alternative is, indeed, worse. But Alter never explains how this contradiction and dereliction occurred; and it's clearly beyond anyone in the mainstream media to see the contradiction, own up to the dereliction or change their way of "doing business."

They don't even seem capable of facing the issues they raise with their own inadvertant acknowledgement of their contradictions, you can write them and ask about them (as I do) they won't respond, so busy are they doing the public's business and keeping us informed.

Crazy, man.


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