Carlson goes on, at considerable length, about how Bush “bond[ed] with the goof-off in all of us” on that plane. Persistently, she portrays the press corps—and herself—as if they were feckless teen-agers. On the plane, “[Bush’s] inner child hovers near the surface,” she writes. And not only that; “Bush knows how to push the buttons of your high school insecurity.” But then, “a campaign is as close as an adult can get to duplicating college life.” Bush “wasn’t just any old breezy frat brother with mediocre grades…He was proud of it,” Carlson writes, approvingly. This seems to explain the press corps’ preference. “Gore elicited in us the childish urge to poke a stick in the eye of the smarty-pants,” she writes. “Bush elicited self-recognition.” Yes, those sentences actually appear in this book, and yes, they seem to be Carlson’s explanation of Gore’s lousy coverage. “It’s not hard to dislike Bush’s policies, which favor the strong over the weak,” she writes. “But it is hard to dislike Bush.”The emphasis is Digby's, and she has a lot more commentary worth reading ... including how this kind of BS is working to McCain's advantage in the current campaign.
Carlson spends little time on those Bush policies, “which favor the strong over the weak.” By contrast—as noted in Thursday’s HOWLER—she spends lots of time complaining that the Clintons would subject her to tedious policy chatter. It is perfectly clear that “the goof-off in Carlson” has little interest in such major tedium. In India, she falls asleep when Mrs. Clinton limns health care, and she can’t understand why Candidate Bill Clinton, in 1992, would talk to her about welfare reform. Talking to Bush is much more fun.
23 August 2008
Labels: public interest
Via Digby, part of a mortifying post by Somerby at the Daily Howler about how journalist Margaret Carlson describes covering presidential campaigns, focusing on 2000.