: Jay Rosen rants against “strategy news.”
I would not say it’s their motivation (although some would) but it is definitely a consequence of their method: journalists doing strategy stories get to be more evaluative, more like critics at a performance. They can bring in more knowledge on their own authority, and show how well they understand the game. They are “allowed” more room by their own codes
These are the seductions of the form, which gets the journalist to identify, not with the candidate, but with the theatre of strategy itself, where there is an audience of cognoscenti, and the players discuss with that audience the bamboozlement of another, larger audience–the voters–who are outside the theatre, a “them,” not an us.
It comes out of the press’ desire to seem inside and ahead even if it’s not substance they’re reporting.
It’s also a part of the tiresome sermonizing formula of news coverage. A good sermon, the saw says, follows a standard structure: it tells ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em, then tells ‘em, then tells ‘em what you’ve told ‘em.
News coverage, by comparison, wants to tell you what’s going to happen and then tell you it’s happening and then tell you it happened — making news repetitive, predictable, and dull… and not necessarily informative. I remember when Bush announced his space plan we were buried in previews, then reports, then analyses. The story dragged out for two weeks when it should have lasted two days.
Campaigns take that sermonizing structure and add big buckets of bull.
Olympic terror fears
: The head of the British Olympic effort is threatening to pull out unless security for athletes is guaranteed in the face of terror fears.
The Scotsman says there is “private speculation” that America will pull out, too.
: Meanwhile, the Observer reports that athletes are getting 24-hour guards.
The foolproof voting machine
: Go see Florida’s new voting machine at IT&W. Really, go see.
It was not a war
: Iraqi blogger Mohammed says today:
Yes, it was not a war. Let everyone and especially the pacifists and all who opposed the coalition that what happened was an operation to free the Iraqi people and eliminate a criminal gang that does not represent any body but itself and its narrow interests and that pauses a serious danger on our country and the others.
That was not a confrontation between two nations nor it was a conflict between different convictions, it was an operation to excise a malignant tumor that was about to destroy everything.
: And fellow Iraqi blogger Ays lectures the antiwar protestors:
The blogging ascetic
: Halley reveals her ascetic lifestyle, which makes Joe Territo feel like shameful shlub.
And what’s cool is that these happen to be friends of mine from utterly separate universes and they meet via blog posts.
: Atrios is having a quite proper bit of fun digging into the site of the World Journalism Institute, whose mission is:
There is one primary reason why the World Journalism Institute should be committed to the education of young journalists: it comes directly from the need to be faithful to the Christian example of accurately reporting (e.g., being reliable eyewitnesses) the work of God in today’s world.
Now look at the faculty and you find all kinds of people — or organizations — who should know better. Says Atrios:
Let’s see. First, we have Roy Rivenburg, an LA Times staff writer who just wrote a wonderful article about how lots and lots of people really really think gay people shouldn’t marry.
Then we have NPR’s religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty who regularly reports on hot button social issues….
Then there’s David Cho, a metro reporter for the Washington Post who covers local religion issues. This guy likes to recycle his own story ideas. Note how he likes to contrast “christian” and “religious” with “gay.”
Punchline of the year
: Yasser Arafat sees Mel Gibson’s The Passion and decrees it is “not anti-Semitic.”
Oh. Well, by his definition that means that he didn’t see Gibson bombing hundreds of innocent Jews.
: Oh, it gets even worse:
Yasser Arafat watched Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ on Saturday, and afterward a top aide compared Jesus’ pain during crucifixion to the suffering of Palestinians in the conflict with Israel.
Nabil Abu Rudeneh, one of Arafat’s closest advisers, watched the film along with the veteran Palestinian leader and a group of American and European Christians and Palestinian Muslim clerics.
“The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion,” Abu Rudeneh said in a statement after he viewed the movie.
Wow, they manage to insult both Jews and Christians.
Do something for Iraq
: Harry’s Place marks the one-year anniversary of the war by giving us concrete ways to do something for Iraqis. Go here and scroll UP.