Who did Dean in?

February 24, 2004

The press, of course, judging by the feedback sent to the Oregonian’s public editor. Sure, a certain amount of this is the Dean brigades looking for scapegoats. And I didn’t notice them complaining about all the fawning coverage that made Dean the front-runner. Still, I’m having one of those shaky-ground moments in my conviction that Dean did himself in. Excerpts:

    In order to prove to yourself that Dean did himself in, and was not done in by the press, you consult a survey and yep, sure enough, 57% of those asked say that dean did himself in, and only 22% say he was done in by the press. Q.E.D.

    ?You appear to believe that those people fooled by the press will say to the pollster, `oh, yes, I was fooled by the press.’?


    One of my friends, we?re both ‘Deaniacs,’ just called you a jerk for your column yesterday. You?ve done some good pieces, so I don?t think you?re a jerk. Just too close to a profession which doesn?t understand which act of what play they?re in sometime. And how it?s been bullied, led and sometimes seduced by right wing journalists like Brooks and Safire who smugly, and disingenuously, campaigned to convince D?s that `Dean would be the easiest to beat.’

That second one is the most damning. All these partisan think tanks with their phony “research” (definition: facts gathered to support what they already believe to be true) need to be exposed, and a deeply jaundiced eye cast upon the results of their “findings.” Campaign after campaign comes down to which side better manipulates the news media. How many more before we wise up?

UPDATE: Jay Rosen on the mind of the news media as seen in a 1994 New Yorker article.
I don’t know how Jay does it but damn, he does it.

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