Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I see the media is now officially out of new ideas. Somehow it has taken five years, but they are now back to the traditional criticism of Republican presidents. The bubble.
I read it in Maureen Dowd's column this morning and heard Brian Williams ask the President about it earlier in the week. It's a tired old bit and goes something like this; the President is unable to get out a be with "the people". He has surrounded himself with yes men advisors and is blissfully ignorant of the fact that the country is falling apart around him. Rome burns, Nero fiddles. Blah, blah, blah.
Oddly, liberal presidents who are every bit as isolated as conservative presidents never seem to be on the receiving end of the bubble critique. It sure is hard for me to believe that this has anything to do with liberal bias in the media, so I assume that President's such as Mr. Clinton for example, really can feel our pain while their having sex with post pubescent interns.
Frankly, the whole bit is absurd if you ask me. Presidents, of all types, are isolated to a degree from the public. This does not mean that by any stretch of the imagination that they are in a bubble and unaware of public opinion and thought. Hell, Clinton was taking polls to see if he should sneeze, and Bush is kept keenly aware of public opinion on a daily basis by his political advisors. This is job requirement number 1 for a simple reason. These guys want to get re-elected, and even when they're in their second terms, they want their party to gain in future elections. So they make every effort to puncture that bubble and understand what public opinion is saying.
That is not to say that a bubble doesn't exist, because one surely does. The fact is that our national media live in one of the greatest bubbles ever created in the history of man. Provincial, subject to ideological group-think, and almost uniquely the most distrusted entity in American life today the media hasn't got a clue about what is going anywhere in the world if it isn't in New York city or Washington D.C.
Rarely has a greater example of the dangers of isolation, and intellectual constipation been on display than that we seen in our national media today. For years readership of newspapers has been in decline, network news has continually lost audience, and the trust of the people has drifted to oblivion. Still, to hear the chatter of these folks as they sit amidst the wreckage of a once proud industry is to get a view of the utter lack of recognition of their own failure.
It would be sad if it wasn't so darn amusing. The rest of us have done well, and miss the media not a wit. We've found alternative news sources, learned to question everything we read, and in general have a much more informed view of the world than our would be media superiors. We can list, with little effort, everything that the media has gotten wrong and continues to get wrong on a daily basis; from the war against terror to the continued resilience and strength of the American economy.
So enjoy the bubble folks! The warmth you feel in there is just the combined effect of all that hot air you've been emitting. Oh yes, there is a greenhouse effect, but it will be solved when your bubble pops!