Topping in a time of breaches

Posted by lex, on March 3, 2006


Well, the world of 21st century journalism is a fast-moving one. So when the “domestic” wire-tapping SCANDAL! didn’t gain any traction, we moved swiftly over the the Vice President gunning for quail with BUCKSHOT! and accidently hitting a friend. But that got no one’s panties bunched in a twist apart from those of the Washington press corps themselves. So the media moved on to the OUTBREAK OF CIVIL WAR! in Iraq, post-golden dome bombing. But the Iraqis, bless their long enduring, over-burdened hearts, declined to answer the media’s clarion call – which is a pity, from the media’s perspective since a civil war would have made for such great copy – so I guess that we’ll have to call that one a bust, for now.

What to do? Find a SECRET VIDEOTAPE! that demonstrates that W knew – had to know – that the New Orleans levees were sure to break and that he’d LIED! when he later said that no one could have known that they might. It’s perfect at so many levels: First, we have the lying thing, which you can’t push too often. Next, it keeps alive the memory of a horrible natural disaster and a response that was fumbled at every level of government but that, significantly, first knocked a chink out the president’s reputation for administrative competency and started the oft-quoted downward slide in his poll numbers. Now that’s traction.

Except of course, that the video proves no such thing, as Patterico explores in depth, and as Jeff Goldstein also ably deconstructs.

Unless you can, with a strait face, submit that there’s 1) no difference between a levee being “topped” and a levee being “breached,” and that 2) because of that, media sources omitted these words-that-mean-the-same-thing from their narrative, because you, gentle reader, might become confused and disturbed, thereby missing the critically important and objective truth (in the Marxist sense) that BUSH LIED! and PEOPLE DIED!

Hint for J-school grads: A levee that is “topped” lets some of the water over the top. A levee that is “breached” lets all of it out.

Oh, do go and read Patterico, but then save some time for the comments thread at Jeff’s place, since 1) that’s where my title for this post came from, and 2) it’s great sport watching those who are personally invested in believing in “correct think,” at least as foisted by the media, sullenly lower their heads and push along, undeterred by fact, logic or reason.

And yes, I realize that the 24/7 news cycle and competitive pressures are at least as much to blame for sensationalizing even mundanities, but a significant part of the media brand equity has to also be “believability.” Unless, of course, they’re satisfied to be seen as just another set of angry people shouting at the television screen, albeit somewhat better dressed and generally better looking. And, oh: From the wrong side of the camera.

Entertaining perhaps as a form of MTV-style “reality TV,” but not terribly informative.

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Filed under by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Lex, Neptunus Lex, Politics and Culture

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