WASHINGTON — Media analysts sounded an increasingly gloomy
note today following news that a full-scale outbreak of civil war in
Iraq had been averted. “The prospects for regime change in Washington
seem increasingly remote,” said one senior White House reporter who
spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We gave the insurgent Democrats millions of dollars worth of air
time, fake-but-accurate reporting, and the deadliest editorials we
could write,” he continued, “but their popular support in-country just wasn’t what we expected.”
Efforts to isolate and discredit the rogue theocratic regime of
George “Chimpy” Bush in the international arena have been more
successful, the press spokesman said. “The U.N. is completely with
our program on that one,” he said, also citing moves by lawmakers
in Belgium and elsewhere to have Bush arrested and charged with
war crimes should he enter their jurisdiction.
While there is some resistance to the regime in the urbanized
Northeast, the Bushites’ strong base of support in the tribal
provinces of the South and Midwest has been sufficient to keep them in
power. “Despite frequent overflights,” the spokesman admitted “we
know almost nothing about conditions there.”
Faulty intelligence has been a continuing theme in the press’s
failure to achieve its policy goals. Critics charge that expert
evaluations have been routinely distorted or suppressed to further a
preconceived agenda, reading to major embarrassments like the
Rathergate scandal, false allegations of Koran-flushing at Guantanamo,
and erroneous reports of cannibalism in the New Orleans Superdome.
In the wake of these failures, a rising tide of anti-press
sentiment is making its choices more difficult. Fearing to venture
from its limousines and air-conditioned hotels in the Blue State Zone,
the press seems increasingly prone to live in a bubble, with wishful
thinking substituting for a clear grasp of facts on the ground.
In this atmosphere, outright fabrications like those at the heart
of the the Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair scandals have become all
too common, and led to the tragic downfall of at least one major editor.
Despite this, calls for “reality-based” reporting have gone largely
unheeded by a media establishment insistent on its ideological vision
of a better future.
Media planners have pinned most of their remaining hopes on the
2006 elections despite the disappointments of 2000 and 2004. “Those
elections didn’t come out the way we wanted,” a former CBS staffer
observed, “so they must have been rigged by at least the 15% swing we can deliver.
We’ll try harder next time.”