By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Talking about inauguration coverage

I’ll be on “NightSide with Dan Rea” on WBZ Radio (AM 1030) tonight from 8 to 9 p.m. to talk about media coverage of President Obama’s inauguration. I imagine this will come up at some point.

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  1. Mark

    I hope you come out firmly against this party Dan.Pravda is a good comparison. The Times’ spokeswoman saying that the gift bag items “… were chosen to celebrate the new era in politics and to allude to [the] time of Kennedy when the nation seemed to have a similar sense of hope and excitement,” didn’t make things any better.Isn’t it a value judgement that this is a new era in politics? Couldn’t the Reagan administration have been another time with a similar sense of hope and excitement? The President hasn’t done very much actual work yet. Adopting his rhetoric verbatim on his second day in office doesn’t really scream unbiased journalism.

  2. Mark

    God forbid Harvey Silverglate ever be given governmental power. When guilty people get off (as he says) in a normal case, it may not be the end of the world. But when a guilty terrorist gets off, people die.

  3. O'Reilly

    Isn’t it a value judgment that this is a new era in politics? Couldn’t the Reagan administration have been another time with a similar sense of hope and excitement?Reagan said “Government is the problem.” George Bush proved him right. Obama said: The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.Yes, it is a value judgment and no there could not be have been another time with a similar sense of hope and excitement because our country has never been left in a condition such as this.

  4. Mark

    I think that saying out country has never been left in a condition like this is absurd. The unemployment rate is at 7.2 percent.The economy is not good – but the Great Depression was many, many times worse. Iraq is being virtually ignored by the media, which you know means that it is going well.We’ve fought a Civil War that the country has had to rebound from under a new president. We’ve experienced famines, wars and staggering unemployment in the past – sometimes all at once.The Democrats did a good job of campaigning for the last four years on how bad out country was doing. The media accepted that premise unquestioningly. Now the public has as well.While we are certainly not in good times, calling this the worst condition our country has ever been in is an outrageous overstatement.

  5. O'Reilly

    You’re outraged by an arguably alleged overstatement. I’m outraged by the incompetence that took us to this place.This part of your argument is interesting. “The economy is not good – but the Great Depression was many, many times worse.” THat’s like saying, yeah it’s bad but its better than a sharp stick int he eye. Ok here’s another, FEMA failed for entirely predictable reasons directly attributable to Bush’s governing philosophy of putting political hacks not competent professionals in jobs and slashing FEMA’s budget but 9/11 was far more lethal in terms of human and financial costs. So relatively speaking, the FEMA failure wasn’t so bad. (Of course 238 peolpe died but you don’t hear them complaining.)The Bush doctrine turned our longstanding and time-tested standard for military activation to invade a sovereign country from “imminent threat” to “preemptive war” based on Cheney’s 1% chance they pose a threat. The Iraq War was an EPIC fail in terms of cost, execution, effect om our relationship with allies, as a recruiting tool for radicalized terror groups like Al Queda, not to mention cost in treasure and lives – American and Iraqi – as well as redirecting our military focus away from the greater threat in Pakistan.The economy is shedding 500,000 jobs a month and Republicans are obstructing efforts to address the problem, efforts advised by economists on the right and left. Where the bottom is no one knows. Civil liberties have been rolled back. We did not have the right of habeas corpus, which colonists had under the crown, but Bush revoked. The entire country has been under surveillance without warrants – phone, fax, e-mail, webpage accesses – since BEFORE 9/11 (per Russell Tice, NSA). Journalists have been surveilled 24/7. Members of Congress claim they have been too. Tax cuts for the richest Americans cost the US treasury dearly, as did financing the Iraq war on the nation’s credit card contributed to turning an inherited surplus into a trillion dollar deficit, without producing the economic growth benefit that was part of the argument for tax cuts – remember, they would pay for themselves. FAIL. Middle class real income declined over the eight year period. Health care, education and energy rose dramatically. Sorry if you take offense but my argument is that our problems are largley atrributable to the policies the Bush pursued for his eight years. I don’t even want to talk about torturing, black sites, blaming “a few bad apples” for torture in Abu Ghraib when it was ordered from the top. Yes, this is the worst condition our country has ever been in.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    One thing we need to keep in mind … government officials from Obama on down are describing this as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression even though the numbers aren’t as bad as the early ’80s. Why?Because they know what’s coming. They look at what’s going on with the banks, both domestically and internationally, and they know this is very much like the guy who jumps off the Empire State Building. Halfway down he says, “So far, so good!”

  7. Mark

    A few of your assertions are purely ideological in nature – and we’re not likely to come to agreement on. A few of your assertions are very weak arguments that conveniently leave out large chunks of information in order to prove your point. For example, when Bush suspended Habeas Corpus, he did so by signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which was passed with bipartisan approval in both chambers of Congress. The suspension only applied to aliens detained by the United States (and enemy combatants at that). When Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, he suspended it for every citizen of the entire United States.Some of your claims are just outright lies. As I’ve told people on this blog many times, not everything you read at the DailyKos is truthful. The Bush administration has not been surveilling journalists or members of Congress. The only evidence that that had been occurring came from a disgruntled former NSA employee who promptly went on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to talk about his scoop. Publicity seeking, anyone? I’ll be waiting for his book.

  8. O'Reilly

    The suspension only applied to aliens detained by the United States (and enemy combatants at that). You are wrong. The law allowed for the government to identify ANYONE as an “enemy combatant” and thereby deny them the great writ of habeas corpus. The law was found unconstitutional in Boumediene v. Bush. The majority found that the constitutionally guaranteed right of habeas corpus review applies to persons held in Guantanamo and to persons designated as enemy combatantsThe Bush administration has not been surveilling journalists or members of Congress.No? Christiane Amanpour and Lawrence Wright’s were. GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Anytime you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires a– a wiretap requires a court order.OLBERMANN: After the “New York Times” revealed that to be a lie, Mr. Bush claimed his surveillance circumvented the constitutionally required process of obtaining a court-ordered warrant only in cases of clear links to terrorism.Tice reported that when he was a analyst in the NSA, he had first hand knowledge that the NSA was surveilling journalists as a group 24/7. You may not believe him but at least you could provide a reason other than your trust in Bush administration assertions that have proven false. I don't read Dailykos.You must have missed reports in the papers about the TSP, about how the NSA tapped into the backbone at AT&T and other telecoms to suck up all phone, fax, email, and webpages access. The program started BEFORE 9/11. Reports on how the US government has put on trial the chief executive of the only telecom company that said "no, not without a warrant."Can you even name a few times in the last eight years you've thought to yourself, Bush lied about this and he doesn't deserve my trust? If not, keep your head firmly in the sand but please don't make arguments based on good will and misplaced trust.

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