In relation to my piece below (He Really Doesn't Do Nuance) Technorati reports several bloggers have linked to the PressThink piece. Of course, the interpretations of Bush's position vary, bipolarly. Here's just a sample:
From Weird is Relative:
A verrry interesting discussion on pressthink, posted yesterday, discusses whether or not the press has a right to investigate stories that they view to be in the public interest.Uh, right. (I'm sorry, but I must have missed the part about Bush denying the press their right to do investigative journalism. Can you point that part out to me?)
This looks like yet another obvious attempt by the current administration to (a) tar the media with the "liberal" brush and (b) deflect the President from having to answer embarassing & revealing questions.... yet it appears to be more successful than most. Can Bush effect a power coup by simply telling the media they are less influential than they think they are?
Next up, Blog on the Run:
One other interpretation of this thesis that just occurred to me -- is that Bush is bashing the press, which never wins any popularity contests, precisely because he does indeed know that the press fills a vital function and that if it became more popular, it might be more emboldened to do its job properly. And even before 9/11, this administration wasn't winning any Freedom-of-Information awards. There's evidence both ways on this one. Discuss amongst yourselves.I think Lex is stretching here. This would be another example of how Dumbya - who is so stupid he has to be reminded to breathe, apparently, is somehow exercising one more brilliant strategy to foil his Democrat nemesis?
Then there's 100 Unfair and Unbalanced
"You assume I give a shit." Why does this surprise the media?Daily Pundit seems to have a better grip on reality:
Jay Rosen identifies the growing horror of the liberal mainstream media, which is apparently discovering that GWB represents their worst nightmare: a sitting President who does not regard their propaganda machine with the proper amount of awe and terror.Moe of Obsidian Wings said:
In fact, he doesn't give it much regard at all. Nor is there any reason that he should, as degraded and perverse as what passes for the media establishment has become at the dawn of the 21st century.
The Emperor has no clothes, boys and girls. Get used to the chilly drafts.
For my own part: no, I don't consider the media to represent the public. Big surprise there: nobody does, actually. I mean, does anybody here think that, say, Eric Alterman wrote What Liberal Media? because he thought that pushing the media to the Left would make it less mainstream? I take the position that it doesn't matter what your political affiliation is: you're likely to see the press as a funhouse mirror distortion of your own beliefs.Having read a lot of Lefties, I tend to agree. But there are perceptions and then there is reality.
Whispers in the Abyss perceives reality:
The whole mess goes to the heart of considerations I've had about the nature of news media, which has been revealed to even the casual consumer as a morass of lies, obfuscations, and manipulations by the simple fact of access to the real facts for Joe Average American to make his own mind up about. No Average Joe has to wonder what Condaleeza Rice said to the 9/11 Commission, the transcripts are public knowledge, to the word. If you really wanted to know what people on the street in Iraq were thinking, 30sec search would turn up a list of Iraqi bloggers, any of whom are 5min of email and half a planet away, available for any question you might want to ask. If you want to know about the military side of operations in Afghanistan, you can go hit bloggers from there.Yup.
In short, if you can read this LJ, you've got wider, deeper, more 1st-hand access to the news as it happens than ever in the history of mankind have reporters or journalists. You can pick up the phone and call anyone listed in the phone book (and if you're cunning enough, even get to mock Fidel Castro). If you don't feel like collating the info yourself, you can surf the net more easily than surfing channels and find someone who, over time, earns your respect for their ability, like Glenn Reynolds, Steve Antler, or Wretchard. But even from one of your primary sources, you can always surf and find corroboration or invalidation, seek out different opinions (typically delivered directly in their Comments links), and generally prove that the world is not strictly push, but that you have the power to pull as much, as deeply, as you like.
Thought Mesh has an interesting point:
The thesis of that article is that President Bush is dealing with the press less by trying to out-play them than by dealing them out of game. Bush stated to one journalist ?You?re assuming that you represent the public. I don't accept that. I agree with both the tactic and the view of Big Media it is based on.Not bleeding likely.
I think that the majority of American citizens are more likely to believe Bush than Big Media in any dispute if no other facts are known. As Rosen says, journalists might ask themselves how they got to this state.
The interestingly named zerotwofivesixfourdotnet has a short but pithy post, with a link:
Elite media hates Bush because he calls them on their B.S., and aims to identify with 'normal people', the hoi polloi that intellectual-types quietly despise.Interesting stuff, especially the comments to some of these. Instapundit has quite a long piece with commentary from readers, too.
So when Bush tells them "You're assuming that you represent the public. I don't accept that", they - needless to say - don't particularly like that, or realize its probably true. And Mark Steyn deconstructs why the numbers show that 'normal people' - despite what the media tries to tell us - agree.