Friday, September 12, 2003
9/11 and the Media
I didn't see any 9/11 television coverage, but Matthew Yglesias reports from his new slot at The American Prospect that the media made no effort to dispel the notion that Iraq had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. Instead, willingly or not, the media concretizes that notion by conflating Iraq-related stories with their memorial coverage on Iraq.

More dubiously, Yglesias notes, the media didn't feature any Democrats in their coverage on memorial services. Hey, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is probably the most recognizable person in the chamber, so why doesn't a news station sic a camera on her? (After all, you might catch a bonus glimpse of Bill...) Howard Dean is certainly cover-worthy, so where was he on September 11th?

But where Yglesias only hints lay the most interesting concerns in the story: How is it that the media doesn't expose President Bush's decision to hold the Republican National Convention in New York City at a very late date (September) for what it is: politicizing September 11th. My guess is the media is wary of criticizing the Bush administration on such a sensitive topic, fearing a backlash, even if the point of the criticism is to expose blatant insensitivity. Either that, or the media considers its audience too stupid to recognize the usury. The trick is, the masses are only stupid insofar as the media declines to inform them...

...well, us. It's hard to remember to include yourself when you're criticizing the masses.

The only TV I caught yesterday, or really all week, was Buffy reruns. I confess: I've become a Buffy fiend. I make my shame public in tiny font in order to purge myself of the guilt.