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Saturday, August 05, 2006


Rove to 'Further Neuter Reporters'

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a classic example of self-pity, Editor and Publisher writer David S. Hirschman's latest article is so full of whining, moaning, assumption and gnashing of teeth that one would think the world is about to end. All this wringing of hands is over the revamping of the White House Press Room.

As many of you know the press room in the White House, the place where countless spokesmen for the President have held innumerable briefings on issues important and not so important, is being shut down and a new one is being built to better fulfill the needs of a more modern era. The creation of this new press room is Hirschman’s excuse to attack Karl Rove and the Administration who he imagines wishes to "weaken the press corps".

Hirschman is all aghast over his vague feeling that Karl Rove has somehow "neutered" the press "much of the time" in the old White House Press Room. And he wonders what new ways Rove will "Inspire (Even More) Fear and Loathing in the Press Room".

"It's hard not to be somewhat skeptical of the Bush Administration's move to revamp the White House Press Room. Yes, the old one was clearly decrepit and out-of-date, but one can't help but suspect that Karl Rove is already in a super-secret bunker in Bethesda scheming with GOP architects -- and interior designers -- about ways to use the new room's design to further neuter the Washington reporters the administration has so successfully managed, spun, and blamed for the past five-and-a-half years."

What does Hirschman imagine here? That Bush will install ejection chairs, to be used when some wayward reporter asks a question Bush or Presidential Spokesman Tony Snow don't like, flinging the hapless reporter into the parking lot?

It is merely a revamp of a decaying, old facility that has been avoided for a long time by other administrations, not some Machiavellian scheme to make the press irrelevant.

Certainly, the press needs no help from the president on that measure as they are doing a great job of making themselves irrelevant already.

But, Hirschman goes off on all kinds of ruminations of the schemes of Rove and the president to make the press uncomfortable and to hasten their irrelevancy. Of course, much of what Hirschman wrote is in jest, which is obvious to see, but the underlying sentiment is self-pity and a desire to foist the blame for the press' poor reputation -- one that is getting worse all the time -- on someone, ANYONE, else other than themselves.

Hiding behind the "humor" is just another reporter who is finding that the vaunted Washington Press Corps is consider a pack of jackals without the slightest bit of common sense or patriotism and who are actual enemies to the country with their desire to assist terrorists. Hirschman may have given a comic twist to the self-pity and lamentations, but it is one we see in the press on a daily basis these days.

My Mother used to scoff at us kids when we got all whiney about not wanting to do something she asked us to do. She used to say, "Do you want me to throw you a pity party?" Well, Editor and Publisher just threw themselves a pity party and David S. Hirschman was the party master!

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