Jan
04
2012

Iowans Frustrate Reporters With Their Multiple Opinions

The usual criticisms of the Iowa caucuses–that the votes of a small, demographically unrepresentative slice of America gobble up too much airtime–are basically correct. As David Sirota noted in Salon (1/3/12): The same journalism industry that pleads poverty to justify cutting big city newspapers' editorial staffs, gutting coverage of state legislatures and city councils, and eliminating every other critical topic not related to Washington's red-versus-blue fetish from news content–as writer Joe Romero recounts, this same industry has for months devoted a massive army to cover Iowa's small contest. Just one example of the absurdity: At least one of Rick Santorum's […]

Sep
07
2011

The Pragmatism of Dirty Air

The New York Times has a story today (9/7/11) by Jeff Zeleny about how both sides are branding Obama: The White House is in the midst of rebranding the president as a pragmatic problem solver prepared to set aside ideology to address a compelling need (see last week's concession on ozone regulations), a reasonable man in an era dominated by extreme views. I'm not sure that qualifies as "rebranding"–I think that's been the Obama "brand" all along. More worrisome is the notion of "pragmatism" here. It's not clear whether the White House offered the ozone rule as evidence of Obama's […]

Apr
11
2011

NYT 'Obama to the Center' Headline Apparently Serious

This New York Times piece by Jeff Zeleny on the budget deal was actually headlined: President Adopts a Measured Course to Recapture the Middle Zeleny explained: President Obama opened the week by calling on Democrats to embrace his re-election campaign. He closed it by praising Republicans for forging a compromise to cut spending this year and avert a government shutdown. The juxtaposition made clearer than ever the more centrist governing style Mr. Obama has adopted since his party's big losses in November and his recapture-the-middle strategy for winning a second term. If "centrism" is defined as mostly cedingthe budget argument […]