The [Thursday] Papers
I'll get to K-Fed and Streisand and the continuing implosion of the Sun-Times and the Tribune Company's mission to alienate every reader it still has and every journalist it still employs soon enough, but today it's still politics.
"It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
But not in the days before Sept. 11.
Journalists have short memories, but Rumsfeld was on his way to being forced out the door before 9/11. In fact, 9/11 saved his job. The pre-9/11 calls for Rumsfeld's resignation because he had already shown what a bumbling fool he was reached such a crescendo that the even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wondered on Aug. 27, 2001, "Is Rumsfeld Up To His Job?"
Pretty much every media outlet wondered as well, regardless of ideology. On Sept. 3, 2001, a National Review by Rich Lowry included a prediction that Bush would fire Rumsfeld. On Sept. 7, 2001, Al Kamen of the Washington Post wrote a column titled "Donny, We Hardly Knew Ye," and speculated on who his successor would be.
After 9/11, the press became infatuated the matinee movie idol; the loathable self-hating press corps loved the way he administered his daily beat-downs on their bottoms. Dreamy Don was so much smarter than they were; at least his abuse signalled he cared.
Of course, Rummy was still Rummy. He didn't change after 9/11; just his press coverage did. Suddenly the "war cabinet" was doing photo spreads for Vanity Fair. Rumsfeld's longevity owes itself in part to the war cheerleading of a press that abdicated its responsibilities went the going got rough - when a president wrongly took a country to war and demanded fealty from everyone lest they be called on their patriotism. In other words, when we most needed them.
Post-mortems on Rumsfeld are incomplete if they don't include the media's part of the story.
Um, maybe wars of choice should never be waged. Let's go back to war as a last resort.
Besides, Will acts as if there is a choice between winning swiftly and losing protractedly. Wars have a way of choosing for you.
True, but when Americans buy chocolate, Hershey's doesn't owe them political favors in return.
Way to keep the press lapping up the folksy image - especially for someone who went to Washington and became a multimillionaire on a congressman's salary.
The paper is also apparently already breaking a promise made in its Stroger endorsement: It will not be assigning extra reporters to cover him and hold him accountable. That was just bluster.
Todd Stroger, by contrast, was a mediocre state legislator and alderman, and that's putting it charitably. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase "dumb as a post" in the last few months from people who have dealt with him. He not only lacked vision and an agenda for this campaign, he lacked the basic knowledge of the government he will now lead; he couldn't be bothered to even learn about the budget he now must tackle. Beyond that, he has shown himself to be a dishonest public servant, first in his disastrous role as family spokesman covering up the health status of his ailing father, and second (at least) in running fundraising out of his ward office. Between his incuriosity, mediocre intellect, poor public presentation, and failure to be anything other than someone's son, it is Todd Stroger who has truly brought George W. Bush politics to Cook County.
Meet the New Boss
"'I expect him to reach out to a good guy like me for recommendations for qualified candidates in top jobs he has control over,' Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) said, complaining about the lack of West Siders among 25,000 county employees."
The Beachwood Tip Line: Transmitting county-wide.
Posted on November 9, 2006
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