ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, November 18, 2005

More Evidence Supporting Safire's Claims of a "Narrative" in the Media

Mickey Kaus is amazed at the way the press is handling the calls by Representative Murtha to pull out of Iraq.

a) The press is pretending to be surprised by Murtha's views ("An Unlikely Lonesome Dove" ... "a fierce hawk") even though he's been a known, public Iraq War skeptic since at least a year and a half ago. NBC News, even more ludicrously, pretended to be surprised by professional GOP apostate Sen. Chuck Hagel's apostasy. ... Update: Most egregious was the LAT's Maura Reynolds who, in order to set up the "jolt" of Murtha's speech, wrote
And when President Bush decided to wage war on Saddam Hussein, perhaps no Democrat was a firmer ally.
Assuming Reynolds means the current President Bush and the current war (and shouldn't she have said if she didn't?) this is correction-worthy garbage. Murtha questioned the war in 2002, before it began.

This all points to the fact that the media doesn't really report the news (per se), but rather they report events that are consistent with the current narrative. As William Safire put it on October 30th's Meet the Press:
MR. SAFIRE: There was a great columnist once who wrote about the breaking of the president. It was a play on the phrase "the making of the president" by Teddy White. I think now we're in the grip of a narrative. And the narrative is: "This president and this presidency is finished." And his polls are way down. He didn't do Katrina right, the war is not over. And everything he does is shaded by this narrative.

Now, the wonderful thing about American attention and media coverage, is the narrative has to change. It can't stay the same, or else it's not newsworthy. And so the story will be the comeback. And when you look at what's happened in the last few weeks, what we have overlooked is the fact that there was a constitution voted for in Iraq. Had it been voted against, it would have been a calamity. But it was good news, and it wasn't covered. Katrina was supposed to--and rising gas prices, that was supposed to clobber the economy, and turn things down, and ruin the stock market. Well, what happened? We just found out the other day that gross domestic product rose 3.8 percent, a huge jump. That the economy is, as it gets to 4 percent, booming. And that has to be reflected. But we don't cover it, because it's not in today's narrative.

The narrative today is that the Dems have finally gotten the cojones to openly challenge the prosecution of the War on Terror (from the war in Iraq to the treatment of terrorist captives to the USAPATRIOT Act). Thus, when a Congressman encapsulates that sentiment in a nice and tidy soundbite, it can be used to further the narrative of the press.

(Let's face facts... journalists are all fiction writers at heart.)

And I like the way that the WaPo describes the response by Hastert:
After Murtha stunned the Capitol with a morning news conference calling for a pullout from Iraq because our "troops have done all they can," the denunciations came quickly.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) accused Murtha of delivering "the highest insult" to the troops. "We must not cower," Hastert lectured the old soldier.

It is insulting to our troops to say they're doing more harm than good - especially when everyone knows that the good works that our soldiers are doing on a daily basis do not get reported AT ALL. And Hastert's statement was to caution the US public that we must stay the course on the War on Terror and not snatch defeat from the jaws of vicotry. Good to see that the Post transforms this into a direct attack on Murtha.

20 years from now... if our adventure in Iraq and the Middle East is successful, will those on the Left claim that they were on board the entire time? Will we allow them to rewrite history as they are rewriting history now about their authorization for the war?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler