9/12/2005

Daily Kos: Frightened Children

Frightened Children
by DavidNYC
Mon Sep 12th, 2005 at 12:05:52 CDT

Oliver Willis catches an absurd - but revealing - remark coming out of the mouth of Brian Williams, NBC's lead anchor. Williams actually admits that the media has been obeisant to Bush, and offers this explanation:

"By dint of the fact that our country was hit we've offered a preponderance of the benefit of the doubt over the past couple of years."

This is the posture of a frightened child. When you're a young kid, especially in a scary situation, you look to the adults around you to protect you, and (assuming you haven't yet reached your teenage years) you probably trust them almost unquestioningly. It only makes sense, after all, when you're at age when much of life is still a mystery and you're too young to handle the world on your own.

But for an adult to act this way is downright embarrassing - and for the media to do so is, as I say, simply absurd. Adults are capable of exercising critical faculties to judge on their own whether a government (and its leaders) are able to adequately protect them. For the media, it's their obligation to do so. One major attack - however monstrous and terrifying - does not erase this responsibility.

And what's more, even if you did feel compelled to give Bush the benefit of the doubt vis-a-vis Osama, al Qaeda and terrorism, there's no reason for that courtesy to extend to every area of governance. But of course it has - the mainstream media has been a lickspittle for Bush on nearly all matters, domestic and foreign.

Brian Williams claims that Katrina might jolt the media out of their subservience, but I've already expressed my skepticism about that numerous times. In a scary world like the one we live in, it's a hell of a lot easier to be a kid than an adult, and that's clearly the role our media prefers to play. I just don't see any reason why it will ever shake free of this Peter Pan syndrome.

Daily Kos: Frightened Children

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