Around The Sphere March 22, 2007

joe_globe.jpgOur famous linkfest offering you links to intriguing items of varying viewpoints. Linked posts do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Moderate Voice or its writers.

These Days Everyone In Hollywood Is A Star
because you’re always on camera whether you know it or not.

So Who’s Gonna Get It (politically, that is) In 2008?
Here’s what UK’s bookies say.

Open Borders And Free Trade: It’s quite a debate and you can find some provocative thoughts on it HERE.

The GOP Dark Horse? For someone who is supposed to be a possible “stealth” candidate, former Senator and present TV star Fred Thompson is getting a lot of publicity. And, indeed, yours truly heard him fill in for Paul Harvey on the radio and one phrase came to mind: he KNOWS how to communicate…and well. Right Thinking ponders the Republican’s Thomas option in a post that should be read in full, ending with this:

Bush has a lot of good ideas, but he is so monumentally inept at communicating them he makes it virtually impossible to win anyone over to his side. Reagan was successful in large part because of his actor’s ability to communicate, and I think Thompson is extremely Reaganesque in this sense. Besides, in a society as vapid and celebrity-driven as ours, having someone on a hit TV show as your candidate will do nothing but help.

Bush Versus The Congress: CaliBlogger gives this succinct summary of what it’s all about:

Let me break this argument down to its essentials (I’m paraphrasing of course).

President to Congress and the public: “Trust us”.

Congress to President: “Yeah, right”.

And, indeed, this means it could go nowhere fast because one side in particular (we refuse to say which but it’s the side that has as its adviser Karl Rove) has a massive credibility problem. So “trust us” is a nonstarter.

We’ve All Read Not Just The Stories But The Heart-Wrenching Testimony About Walter Reed Hospital but did you know that it’s all “overblown” by Congress and the media? But that’s what she says.

Terrorists Are Basically Telling Spain To Get Out Of Afghanistan, Barcepundit reports.

Has Journalism Embraced “Snark” To Its Detriment? Brendan Nyhan makes the case that it has:

Along with Maureen Dowd, the Washington Post Style section helped popularize the sneering, snarky, personality-driven approach to political reporting that now dominates national press coverage. It’s become so influential that a number of its “best” writers have been poached by other publications. As Post culture critic Phil Kennicott told the Washingtonian, “Style has won the war. Narrative journalism is now on the front page and Metro.”

Sadly, one of Style’s exports is Mark Leibovich, who is now doing awful work for the New York Times, including a recent piece that analyzed Hillary Clinton’s handwriting and referred to her current campaign as “Version 08, Nurturing Warrior, Presidential Candidate Model.”

Read it all. And, yes, the case can be made that American journalism in general now needs to personalize news not just in terms of human interest stories, but to find something quirky about a candidate that’s a “high concept” characterization so readers can latch onto an emotion within a megasecond. What suffers? The discussion of substantive issues. And those of us who serve readers in this new infofrontier on weblogs fall into the same trap. The key problem is that “style” often becomes another word for “finding something negative and cutting to say that is a bit outrageous but more fun to read (whether it’s accurate or fair or not).” What suffers? The discussion of substantive issues.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Joe, thanks for the citation. It seems to me the problem the admin is facing is self-inflicted, based on their repeatedly stand-offish relationship with objective truth, if no-one believes what you say (except under oath), then what you say becomes irrelevent.

    It’s a sad commentary on the present state of affairs, but any statement from a Bush admin official that doesn’t carry the potential of a perjury conviction is suspect.

    But, as Bush meant to say in that oft repeated mangling of a truism, “fool me once…won’t get fooled again.”

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