When Will Reality Be Post-Partisan?

August 6th, 2008at 10:40pm Posted by Eli

Marty Kaplan points out the sad reality of our time:

Ron Suskind’s new book reports that in 2003, the White House ordered the CIA to forge a letter to “prove” that Iraq had a hand in 9/11 and that Saddam was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger for his WMD program with the help of Al Qaeda.

When this came up on MSNBC, moderator Chuck Todd asked Politico’s Mike Allen whether this would lead “the anti-war crowd” in Congress to call for impeachment. Allen replied that it would “give the lefty blogosphere something to grab onto.”

And so, in less time than it takes to say “Dick Cheney,” the subject is changed from what would be one of the most outrageous violations of the Constitution in the history of the Republic to a left/right issue. Instead of taking a breath to consider the merits and consequences of Suskind’s charges, MSNBC’s It’s-Always-Super-Tuesday-Over-Here reframing machine instantly transforms a shocking allegation about the abuse of power into a piece of political football, a tactic, an occasion for the players in the grand political theater that cable news says Washington really is to assume their designated roles, like a Punch and Judy show.

…If the White House asked the CIA to cook up this disinformation aimed at the American people, why shouldn’t the righty blogosphere, too, be up in arms? Why doesn’t every American, regardless of political party, have a stake in the truth and the rule of law?

…Unfortunately, the closest that the MSM usually comes to weighing the evidence is saying: Ron Suskind charges X, and the White House denies it. This is what is now called reporting.

Every time the Bush administration gets caught breaking the law, conservative pundits and bloggers are either excusing it or pretending that it never happened.  Never do they say, “Okay, yeah, they’re on my team, but this really is so far beyond the pale as to be despicable and criminal.”  It just doesn’t happen.  (They do slam BushCo. with that kind of hyperbole sometimes, but it’s usually for stuff like trying to compromise on immigration or negotiate with North Korea.)

When did reality become so irrelevant to our discourse?  Was it just during the Bush administration, or during the Clinton administration, or has it always been like that and I just never noticed it?

Entry Filed under: Bush,Cheney,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Media,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers,War

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