Squaring the Burkle.

A mostly political Weblog.
April 17 2006 4:54 AM

kf Tries to Square the Burkle!

Why I'm flummoxed by the Page Six scandal.

(Continued from Page 3)

I'm with Newer. Weisberg's evidence is much more convincing than Krugman's. ... P.S.: McCain's been a strong, consistent supporter of the Iraq War. But nobody said "maverick" meant "liberal" or "dovish" or "realist." Nor does it mean McCain's right, or that you'll like his positions. It means maverick! McCain's simply not an orthodox conservative on a whole range of issues. Dems like Krugman will have to learn to deal with that complication. ... Update: See also Marshall Wittmann's  strangely dogmatic gushing  about "our modern T.R." ... 5:34 P.M.

Burkle raises the Larger Issue! Ron Burkle attempts to leverage the Jared Paul Stern corruption case into a general condemnation of "gossip coverage"  of, well, people like him:

And it would be satisfying to reach the conclusion that simply holding gossip-writers to the same standards as other journalists will solve the problem. But it won't. For one thing, gossip and tabloid-style journalism has been spreading rapidly to other spheres of reporting. Gossip coverage that used to be devoted primarily to movie stars now encompasses politicians and business people.

With the rise of blogs, reality TV, camera phones and other types of instant media, one can see a day when anyone, anywhere could become the subject of salacious journalism. And as gossip journalism spreads, so do the shoddy standards that accompany it.  I'm not talking about bribes or extortion. One hopes that's a rare practice. But consider what the New York Times reported about the way business is done at Page Six: "Keeping a list of reliable sources, of course, means having a list of people who need to be protected somewhat... [snip] ... We've all read how well-known and respected journalists have readily protected top-ranked officials leaking classified information. It makes one wonder: Where does the political reporter end and the political operative begin?

No doubt the challenge of upholding the highest media standards has never been harder. But institutions that give up will find that the lines between them and bloggers, demi-pundits and rumor-mongers on the Internet will be blurred beyond recognition. Newspapers that continue to go down the road of tabloidism, that adopt the shoddy standards of gossip reporting, and that arrogantly resist correcting their mistakes, risk losing their special role in our democracy. [Emphasis added]

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Protecting leakers! Does Burkle think this is a new, tabloidy trend in conventional, respectable journalism? The FBI protects turncoat witnesses, journalists don't screw good sources. It can easily turn into a protection racket, but it's also a proven device for uncovering the truth. ...

P.S.: Is Burkle a persecuted businessman trying to carve out a zone of privacy against dissembling gossips?  Or is he a guy with a lot to hide attempting to intimidate and marginalize potential new, blog-like, unconventional threats,aware that maybe  Marty Singer can't protect him forever in this new environment? Or something in between! ... Is he worried about inaccurate journalism or accurate journalism? .. You, the reader, make the call! ...

Note to Maer Roshan: This is so not the guy you want to ownRadar magazine.. ... Makes Mort Zuckerman look like John Peter Zenger! ... 2:52 P.M. link

Et tu, RCP?Real Clear Politics' John McIntyre thinks the Republicans are getting the worst of both worlds on immigration:

[T]hey are increasingly turning off two pillars of their new majority. The first pillar is the talk-radio portion of the Republican base led by Rush Limbaugh (and the many who have followed in his wake) that provide a tremendous amount of energy to the conservative movement. The second pillar the GOP is endangering is the Hispanic community, the single largest growing demographic in American politics. ...

[R]ight now Republicans have managed to create a political environment on immigration that further demoralizes their base while at the same time angers the largest growing electoral demographic critical to a long-term GOP majority. Is it any wonder Senator Schumer implored Harry Reid to scuttle the Senate "compromise"? The last thing the Democrats want, from a political standpoint, is to resolve the immigration issue. [Emph. added]

I still don't understand! I can see where the immigration issue is killing Bush. (Which genius decided, when Bush was down to his most loyal 40%, to promote a policy that pisses them off? Why not go for a clean zero and get a good draft pick?) But Bush isn't running again. And I still don't see why House Republicans won't benefit in 2006 from pushing a tough enforcement policy that pleases their base, and that in general is popular. Are they incapable of communicating their views to their constituents? ... Plus, it's highly unpopularfor the Democrats to oppose the House approach, no? Robo-pollerr Scott Rasmussen notes that as the immigration debate has proceeded the GOPs have opened up a 6 point lead on this issue, up from one point--entirely because support for the Democrats has declined. ... P.S.: The wooing of the Hispanic vote is a long-term project, remember. The  mid-terms are short-term, and the House is the most vulnerable GOP institution. Why can't you more plausibly argue that the Republicans can get the best of both worlds: In the short run, the House GOP has engaged its base and put the Dems in a bad spot; in the long run, Bush and the Republican Senate have reached out to Latinos in a way that will serve them well in future presidential races? ... I don't quite believe that either, of course. For one thing, to really capitalize on the popularity of a tough enforcement approach, the House would need an actual, enacted bill to brag about. For another, I'm skeptical about the long-term lockupability of the Latino vote by anyone. Nor is it clear to me just why Republicans benefit by letting in millions and millions more poor, Latin-Americans who at least initially are likely to be Democrats.) But you get the point. ... This is MSM Kool-Aid McIntyre's drinking! ... 4:24 P.M. link

Eroded Schorr: Daniel Schorr on NPR, explaining why Bush might want to change the subject from his administration's ongoing troubles by blustering against Iran, noted that even as Bush addressed the issue at Johns Hopkins immigrants were "massing around the country against his immigration policy."  ... Er, weren't they massing for Bush's immigration policy (and against the House Republicans' policy)? Just askin'! ... But why let these tedious Inside-the-Beltway nuances get in the way when there's some smug NPR Bush-bashing to do? 1:08 A.M.

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