Sunday, October 02, 2005


It's revealing of the sad state of conservative thought that Mark Steyn is considered by many conservatives to be one of their best writers. Ever the water-toting partisan clown, here we have Steyn dutifully pushing the always-useful "Blame the media!" meme in regards to coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Steyn seems to think that the fact that some of the worst rumours and predictions turned out to be untrue somehow exonerates the Bush gang, which is a bit like arguing that things are going great in Iraq because no one has set off a nuke yet (give Mark a few more months on that one). Take this:
The facts [the media] put in front of us were wrong, and they didn't talk truth to power. They talked to goofs in power, like New Orleans' Mayor Nagin and Police Chief Compass, and uncritically fell for every nutso yarn they were peddled. The media swallowed more bilge than if they'd been lying down with their mouths open as the levee collapsed. Ten thousand dead! Widespread rape and murder! A 7-year-old gang-raped and then throat-slashed! It was great stuff -- and none of it happened. No gang-raped 7-year-olds. None.

Think about that: Hurricane week was in large part a week of drivel, mostly the bizarre fantasies of New Orleans' incompetent police chief but amplified hugely by a gullible media. Given everything we now know they got wrong in Louisiana, where they speak the language, how likely is it that the great blundering herd are getting it any more accurate in Iraq?

Okay, taking Steyn's critique at face value (instead of acknowledging it as the red herring which it is), I wonder if he would consider his critique equally applicable to the media's credulity and complicity in advancing "evidence" of Iraq's WMD, or in publicizing the Swift Boaters' allegations? Somehow I doubt it, but I suppose part of the fun of being a shameless hack is never having to consider such things.

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