Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Secret Thoughts of the Vacuous

Op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd spent her entire column informing us what major figures, such as Sen. Hillary Clinton and President George H.W. Bush were really thinking at President Gerald Ford’s funeral. (“James Baker’s secret thoughts belied his poker face: ‘I tried to help you out, son, but you’re too dang stubborn. Or ‘resolute,’ as you say. Stubolute. A clear case of TMC — too much Cheney.’ Dick Cheney’s bubble was trouble: ‘I’m surging, I’m surging, I’m surging.’”)

And Dowd’s bubble? “I don’t really have anything to say. But when do I ever? Maybe this will fool them again.”

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hurrah, Iraq report divides GOP: NYTimes

Apparently, we're supposed to believe from this New York Times headline of Dec. 10 that Republican Party is deeply divided between moderates and conservatives over the Iraq Study Group report. And that, by implication, means more bad news for President Bush.

Report on Iraq Exposes a Divide Within the G.O.P.


WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 — The release of the report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group this week exposed deep fissures among Republicans over how to manage a war that many fear will haunt their party — and the nation — for years to come.

A document that many in Washington had hoped would pave the way for a bipartisan compromise on Iraq instead drew sharp condemnation from the right, with hawks saying it was a wasted effort that advocated a shameful American retreat.

Read the complete story, though, you'll find that the two sides separated by the divide are not of equal size. Only two "moderate" Republicans are quoted down in the story in two short graphs. The bulk of the story quotes more conservative Republicans who regard the ISG report as something close to rubbish. More reporting should have been done to support the headline. Or maybe a better headline would have been: "Most Republicans Believe Iraq Report is Dead on Arrival."

Also deep in the story is a short description of how Democrats are divided by the report. Yet, none of that deserves higher play or a part of the headline, in the view of the NYT's non-editors.

By the way, it's not the "Bipartisan Iraq Study Group," as it is constantly named by so many in the media, including folks at the New York Times, who want to burnish it with more credibility than it deserves. The word "bipartisan" has been used so often before the title that some readers can't be blamed if they think the word is part of the title.