Bludgeon wrote:Thanks Snow,
I really don't want to get into the "gotchas", I think it will be nice to just sort of look at the situation as it is; really without even judging, though in this case the details seem rather damning.
I can live with that. The details don't seem damning to me, but maybe that's a point where we can agree to disagree on what qualifies as damning. I think it truly does help to try to look at a situation as it is without even judging. Maybe we're both tired of the gotcha thing, like a lot of the public who seem to have tuned the whole works out.
I would just say that it's firstly problematic (and secondly, Nixonian) to say the least to have an administration that intentionally doctors the facts by demanding fictions be written in their place.
And I think what you're referring to is professional press relations, in which I fully expect my administration to present its actions in the best possible light. I do not accept falsehoods, but I do not think it is their job to hand their opposition a list of attack points. The opposition will create those just fine on their own.
I honestly don't see the falsehoods. Again, this may be two different definitions of "lie." I don't see how we can resolve it without nitpicking and playing gotcha. Maybe we can wait for a different story to use for an example.
But here's a counter-example: I think the administration has done a piss-poor job of presenting, explaining, and defending the healthcare law. I expect better, and I am disappointed and displeased. I wish they were giving that thing half the attention the Benghazi thing is getting.
And lying about healthcare, as with anything else, will come back to bite so they better get it right.
And problematic to have a complicit press (Joe Biden affectionately refers to them as "legitimate media") that dutifully looks the other way. Access, rewards and penalties are much to do with the way administrations 'work the media'
I agree media access is a powerful incentive. I do not agree in this case the public has been misinformed or underinformed. Coverage and commentary on the Benghazi story has been so widespread, involving so many journalists and op-ed writers, that we can be quite confident nothing unclassified has been withheld from the public. There is a range of opinions in the center and left as well as on the right, and to believe the Obama administration controls it all is wildly exaggerated/overoptimistic.
Of course they have favorite reporters, but they don't control the arc of the entire narrative. They present and defend the administration viewpoint.
If a person is a Democrat or Republican, if this were my party, that [spin and manipulation, I assume] is not what I would want out of my administration, or the national media.
I expect a professional, thorough presentation and defense of the administration's actions. I do not accept lies (though we all badly need a clear definition of what a lie is, and that may be one of our sticking points in this discussion).
It is the media's job to dig up all the facts; it is the administration's job to do right, be transparent, and adhere to the laws they are sworn to uphold (among many other things).
Spin is a fact of political life and I don't like it any more than you do. But the time when the administration (any administration) was a news source on its own has passed. For an administration not to actively defend its actions is unprofessional. The electorate expects an aggressive, active, and affirmative defense of the administration's actions, and likewise expects an aggressive effort by the other party to undermine the administration. It's not ideal (you'd think both parties would work for the benefit of the people, I suppose) but it's how things are and passivity is unacceptable.
The national media are expected to get behind the spin and find (interpret) the "truth" (whatever in the world that is). I do not see their job as being the same as the administration's.
I think we have legitimate differences here, but not ones that end in a screaming session. It's more like background that makes comprehensible a viewpoint different from one's own without leaving the impression that person is a traitor/idiot/bigot/tool/whatever.
You know how in China, the Dalai Lama is branded as
a terrorist and if you read about him in the news it sounds like he's the worst, most despicable person who ever lived? I would just like to think that if I were a member of China's leading party, and if pushing this narrative was deemed 'good for the party', I would still not want that kind of fraud being plied in my name.
Having a bunch of Chinese friends, I know exactly what you mean about the Dalai Lama. To hear the story they've been taught, the guy is the devil incarnate. From our side, he's a living saint. I suppose the truth is somewhere in between and he's a regular guy.
But it's an excellent example of spin-gone-crazy, and China's having only a rudimentary free press makes it work. I'm still hoping ours is a little more developed.