Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Juvenile and incompetent

"What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," Dunn said on CNN. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."


I am no expert on the history of the various White House media machines and the large news organisations. But to my knowledge, this is unprecedented, certainly since Nixon. Airing opposition research in a society with free speech? Disgusting! Orf with their heads.

Given that fully half of the US population like Obama and think he is doing a good job leads you to the conclusion that people either don't know about things like this that go on constantly; or they don't see anything wrong in them. It is sad but true that I, an Englishman, won an award at my high school in the states for "Outstanding Proficiency in American History" and numerous ones for Civics knowledge. The reason that it was sad is that I didn't really have Outstanding proficiency. I just knew something about those things, and pretty much everybody else didn't. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Are Americans waking up to the fact that in a democracy you have to know these things, at least to some extent?

Is the gutter wrangling of the current White House press office fatal to American free speech and a permanent source of danger? Definitely not. Is it an all-time low of behaviour and decorum for the occupants of those important posts? Probably. What does it mean in the big sense? It is one more sign that it is amateur hour at the White House, and that the people clustered around Barack Obama, his longstanding friends and groupies, are juvenile and incompetent.

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