Carol Platt Liebau: Karl Rove and Lazy Journalists

Monday, August 20, 2007

Karl Rove and Lazy Journalists

Ed Morrisey comments on Howard Kurtz' latest on Karl Rove with an interesting post about how Rove's elevation to the role of Bush's brain by many journalists was partially the result of lazy reporters not doing the work to get past their preconceived ideas about Bush.

Ever since then, and ever since the book Bush's Brain got published, Rove has served as the center of all misery for the Democrats. The news media simply got lazy and followed suit. To some extent, it helped Bush to have a lightning rod for the lunatic fringe, but instead of people recovering their senses, the madness spread. Everything became all about Rove, and even Kurtz still hasn't recovered enough to quit connecting the Harriet Miers debacle to Rove rather than George Bush himself.

The President sets policy. He has close advisors, such as Rove and Dick Cheney, but in the end he has the authority and the choices are his...

Rove's brief dabble in policy matters lasted less than two years. For the most part, Rove focused on electioneering. He built a Republican realignment that only collapsed when voters got tired of the corruption and free spending of consecutive Republican-led Congresses. Rove got an inordinate amount of blame for 2006, perhaps because he remained defiantly optimistic when all indications of a major loss could be seen, but Rove didn't lose that election -- the Republican incumbents lost it themselves.

Rove has been an easy target, and the media and Bush critics have elevated him to the level of puppetmaster. Now he's gone, and Bush will continue to be President. It may turn out to be Rove's revenge on lazy journalists and paranoid conspiracy theorists.


Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

This piece exemplifies a problem that seems to permeate much of right-wing commentary: the "attack dog" style. This style mandates that issues be presented in terms of an attack on somebody. (Ironically enough, it appears that Mr. Rove played a major role in popularizing this style among members of the right.)

Consider: the thrust of this article concerns Mr. Rove's role in providing advice to Mr. Bush. Yet it is framed as an attack on "lazy journalists and paranoid conspiracy theorists". Even more curiously, its claims here are patently unproven, as acknowledged in the concluding sentence: "It may turn out to be..." Of course, it also may turn out the opposite way. Time will tell.

I'll also note the dismissive terminology applied to those with whom the author disagrees. They are "lazy reporters", "the lunatic fringe" and "paranoid conspiracy theorists". It's usually the case that those who engage in such nasty verbiage are compensating for the absence of a solid case.

Lastly, I'm surprised that the author thinks that the mistakes of the Bush Administration did not contribute to the Republican debacle in 2006. All the polls show that the primary factor in most voters' minds was Iraq.

8:01 AM  

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