17 February 2006

We don't sell rope, we give it away


The way I look at it, Cheney took the opportunity to show the White House press corps that it is not the natural conduit to the nation-at-large; and it has no special place in the information chain. Cheney does not grant legitimacy to the large news organizations with brand names who think of themselves as proxies for the public and its right to know. Nor does he think the press should know where he is, what he’s doing, or who he’s doing it with.


How does it hurt Bush if for three days this week reporters are pummeling Scott McClellan over the details of when they were informed about Cheney’s hunting accident? That’s three days this week they won’t be pummeling Scott McClellan over the details of this article from Foreign Affairs by Paul R. Pillar, the ex-CIA man who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year.

It’s fascinating to watch a group of people so wrapped in the cocoons of their own egos that the White House can get them to do the dirty work of discrediting themselves. It was obvious how useful this would be in the long run in absorbing and distracting the efforts of Old Media. Well, obvious to everyone except Old Media.

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Signs of life in the near dead

[source, source]

Fifteen years after communism was officially pronounced dead, its spectre seems once again to be haunting Europe. Last month, the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly voted to condemn the “crimes of totalitarian communist regimes”, linking them with Nazism and complaining that communist parties are still “legal and active in some countries”. Now Göran Lindblad, the conservative Swedish MP behind the resolution, wants to go further. Demands that European ministers launch a continent-wide anti-communist campaign — including school textbook revisions, official memorial days and museums — only narrowly missed the necessary two-thirds majority. Yesterday, declaring himself delighted at the first international condemnation of this “evil ideology”, Lindblad pledged to bring the wider plans back to the Council of Europe in the coming months.

Wow! Is Europe actually recovering from its ideological failures? Of course, the author of this piece goes on to defend Communism and the historical revisionism that makes Communists look bad, but it’s the whining of someone on the losing side of history.

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