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« It's always been about Whitewater | Main | Clock out first, before you clean the blood off »


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Ezra Klein

You know, I think I need to disagree with some more people. I'm just too damn conciliatory lately...


Ezra Klein is wrong. "Ignorant" writers are not the principal problem, though I'm sure the ones in Washington, D.C. get very insular and provincial, with a severe case of tunnel vision. The real problem lies in who owns the press at present. Since starting my blog in San Francisco, I've gotten to know a few paid journalists both in person and through emails, and it's been revelatory.

Here's one example. I wrote about a demonstration in front of a poor person's residence hotel called the "Civic Center Hotel" which was owned by the local Plumbers' and Steampipe Fitters' Union next door to the hotel. The union wants to tear down the wonderful old structure with its 75 rooms and replace it with fancy condos.

Anyway, I Googled for info about the union and found some rather hair-raising articles about it being sued by the Department of Justice for a $26 million pension fund scam going to their casino/entertainment center at the nearby Konocti Harbor Spa, along with an article about how they were being sued by the city for not bothering to put in fire sprinklers into their Civic Center Hotel.

The latter article was written by J.K. Dineen, and I wrote to ask him for permission to lift from his year-old article in the San Francisco Examiner, which is presently owned by the Christian right-winger Phillip Anschutz of Colorado. Dineen was pleased with the request, liked the blog, but had this stunning confession to make:

"I wanted to go to the protest yesterday, but I felt my odds of getting the union's side were unlikely, and that would have been a requirement to selling the story to my editors. I can't afford to run out on a story and come back empty-handed these days."

The writers don't get to decide what goes where, or what stupid and misleading headline is printed over their copy. It's time to take a slightly closer look at how things actually work.

Shakespeare's Sister

Is this a new invention--trailers for posts? :-)

I've got another little thought here, about the media's opinion of its own role in the political process.


I love this. I'll wait on the third part and then I can post a huge LINKFEST to all of this!

Michael Kelly in "The Great Limbaugh Con" looks at the roots of Clinton-hatred in 1992-1993. An interesting thesis and, as far as I know, the first one to look at 'framing' by the Right.

Shakespeare's Sister

Interesting piece in the Aug. 15 edition of The Nation by Eric Alterman, too, to which I was directed by Toast.


No, they didn't start hating Clinton after he was elected, they started somewhere between the primaries and the election. Without that, they never would have gone anywhere with Whitewater, because it was obvious early on that the Clintons were just victims of an associate who had gone round the bend and embezzled from them.

Something had to happen that suddenly old-line whacko segregationists in Arkansas were being given more credibility than not just the Clintons but also all the investigators who had gone over the Whitewater case already and found there was nothing there. Even the other journalists - many of them experts in this kind of case - were ignored. The Clintons had already been exonerated when Spikey was convicting them in The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the really hot story about how President Bush and his minions had been trying to gin up all these false stories went uncovered. Considering that the press didn't love Bush either, that's very strange indeed. So much for the idea that the media is just looking for things that sell papers - that's a story that could have sold plenty of papers.

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