Friday, January 16, 2004

Peggy Noonan Sees Press Bias

Peggy Noonan, the former speech writer for Ronald Reagan and a very biased observer of Democrats, has noticed the corporate media slant against Howard Dean. But then, how could she miss it!?

"The press has kicked in and is playing a part in the drama. The journalistic establishment has become an anti-Dean mover. Tuesday's New York Times piece on the absent Mrs. Dean, for instance -- that was a piece with a sting. They decided to front-page it six days before the caucuses. The morning network news shows and the cable news shows are full of Mr. Dean's gaffes, Mr. Gephardt's rise and Mr. Edwards's potential...."

But as a right-wing ideologue, Noonan can't see past her own haughtiness. Her explanation for why the press is out to get Dean? They're trying to save the liberals from themselves! "I wonder if mainstream media aren't trying to save the Democratic Party from Mr. Dean. They know he's not a likely winner down the road. Boomer reporters who've been through the Clinton experience have sharp eyes. I suspect they're put off by Mr. Dean's Clintonian aspects, such as his tendency to dissemble. They're pushing Gephardt and Edwards and even Kerry. They may push Wesley Clark. But they're not pushing Dean."

There's plenty in that paragraph to make steam come out of your ears -- the purring, killer-feline self-satisfaction in evoking "Clintonian aspects" -- but the Grande Illusion of all is Noonan's absolute certainty that the "mainstream media" are all crypto-Democrats and dedicated to advancing the Democratic cause ... and not the craven pack of corporate toadies they are, scared to death to criticize an administration already known for locking dissenters up and shunning offending journalists, who can duck conveniently behind the smoke screen of Bush's "likeability" as opposed to Dean's prickliness. The press has sold out, but Noonan has her own cherished conspiracy theory.

Incidentally, you can catch Noonan some Sunday mornings on NBC on Chris Matthews' new opinion show. You'll recognize her. Blonder than thou, she always closes her eyes when beginning to speak, as though communing with the Divine Afflatus, which is evidently channeling through her to the Lesser Mortals among whom she is forced to suffer.

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