Sunday, March 13, 2005

Another dissembling New York Times headline

The "Most E-Mailed" Times article this morning is titled "Under Bush, A New Age of Prepackaged Television News." It casts light on the practice of local news broadcasts running government-made infomercials as news stories--a grave threat to those silly enough to believe anything they see on a local news broadcast. The Times managed to make this the day's most popular FWD by starting the headline with the phrase "Under Bush, a New Age of ..." This kind of fill-in-the-blank provocation (try "... Dangerous SUVs," "... Censorship," or "... Toxic Bath Towels") will fire up the knee-jerk anti-Bush crowd any day.

The tenth paragraph, however, directly contradicts the headline's premise. It begins:

The practice, which also occurred in the Clinton administration ...

So what happened to it being "New" "Under the Bush Administration"?

The piece later hems and haws about increased spending on video news releases under Bush, citing a study done by Senate Democrats. Okay, now who's passing off partisan political opinion as news?

Then there's this winner:

Under the Bush administration, federal agencies appear to be producing more releases, and on a broader array of topics.

A definitive accounting is nearly impossible.

Ultimately, the question is "Who cares?" I don't need the Times coming to rescue me from video news releases. After all, who will rescue me from the Times?

The New York Times > Washington > Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged Television News


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appears? APPEARS?

This is paper of record. The Gray Lady. All they can come up with is it appears federal agencies are producing more releases. They either are or are not.

What ever happened to reporting?

2:46 PM  

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