Sunday, September 18, 2005

Blame, Sweat, and Tears

Neal Justin wrote a piece for the Minneapolis Star Tribune concerning reporters showing their emotions during hurricane coverage. His conclusion is that the reporters got it right, and that the evil right-wingers won't get away with unfairly criticizing the media this time.

My first question is how Justin is able to evaluate the accuracy and fairness of the coverage. Even if he had spent time in the flood zone (he does not mention any such experience), how would he be able to judge the coverage of a tragedy spanning three states? More likely, Justin is basing his evaluation of the reporting on the reporting itself. This is circular reasoning at its worst -- I know that the coverage is accurate because the coverage tells me so.

Justin also implies that the term, "blame game," is a new creation of Republican High Command. I was able to locate several instances in the Star Tribune archives. Check out this piece from 1992 on the failure to enact a middle-class tax cut:

Meanwhile, legislators have not demonstrated a willingness to undo that
1990 deal. Democratic leaders in the House, lacking the votes to win, have four
times delayed bringing up a measure to amend that budget agreement to open the
way for shifting billions of dollars from the Pentagon to social programs. The
Senate killed a similar bill last week in refusing to wipe away Republican
procedural delays holding up similar legislation.

So the election-year blame game will go on, with each side saying it is
the other's fault that there will be no tax cut this year. But the question is
whether anyone was ever serious about making it happen. (emphasis supplied)

Either it is a legitimate phrase to use, or it is a masterful Republican Jedi mind trick developed more than a decade ago. I thought that Jesse Jackson had the corner on the rhyming market!

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