Same old (head)line
It's helpful for a political junky (and journalism student) like me to be able to step back recite a basic fact to myself: a hyperpolitical outlook on the news can paint a very different picture than what really exists. For the average journalist, life in American is simply one long horse race in-between elections where every piece of news is compared and evaluated on the basis of how it will affect the next election.
It never changes. Just like all the other paint-by-number coverage from Katrina. The current line is this: a weak response from Bush shows he doesn't really care. From verbal celeb tirades to Judy Keen and Richard Benedetto's blowhard "news analysis" on page two of USA Today about the President's response to Katrina. What it amounts to is a hatchet job similar to what all implicit attacks on Bush post 9/11. I can still remember the sneering ABC line after Bush's rock-the-world speech a week afterward: "A president finds his voice."
Where do journalists learn to see everything through red and blue tinted glasses? In the classroom. I've heard it many times at Western: a political science depth or minor is usually recommended for journalism students so that's what a big chunk of them take. It may not be because their journalism professors want to have the news reported that way, but they might think a journalist wouldn't be able to survive in America without a solid political science education. Unfortunately, those "survival" skills ususally translate into bickering about how the president needs to be more expressive and empathetic--or the democrats might start looking like reformers (hint hint: the democrats ARE reformers!)
I've felt like holding my nose as I wade through the coverage of Katrina--and not because dead bodies disgust me.
Crossposted at Meneltarma