Blaming the Media


Andrew Sullivan responds to my post from yesterday here (and handpicks a correspondent who—surprise!—agrees with him here) and manages to ignore my main criticism: His attacks on the supposedly "supine" media, in his strained comparison of John McCain to Vladimir Putin, are silly. Sullivan writes that the media's response to the Palin media embargo (which we both agree is wrong) "is the most appalling dereliction of duty by the press that I have ever seen in my adult life…I'm simply staggered at how supine the press has become. They are being deferent and giving the benefit of the doubt to the people who told us there were WMDs in Iraq. Imagine that." And today he breathlessly writes that "The press is complicit is an appalling dereliction of duty. Duty." Duty, I tells ya!

I'm not sure exactly what Sullivan thinks the press should do in such a situation, short of hiring Patty Hearst and Cinque to extraordinarily render Palin to MSNBC studios.  My point, which was pretty clear, was that in Putin's Russia the press is "supine" for entirely different reasons, and any comparison between a government that controls the news media and terrorizes its critics with the current Palin media blackout is simply bizarre. And no, this isn't even a "taste" of what Putin's Russia is like.

But Sullivan ignores this (and fails to include the bit where I point out that I "broadly agree with [him] that keeping Sarah Palin from interacting with the media is pretty infuriating"), preferring to set fire to a straw man.

Sullivan also advises Obama to "hang in" there, assuring him that the "Hysteria will end at some point." And yes, the irony seems completely lost on him.