The Corner

Unreadability in the defense of liberalism is no vice

Ed Driscoll writes:

When the MSM moans about the gallons of red ink it’s spilled since 2001, it needs to ask itself if it’s prepared to actually report the news, in a fashion that interests readers, or if it exists as a non-profit ideological support system.

I think the answer to that is pretty obvious, don’t you? But, if it isn’t, read The San Francisco Chronicle and Carla Marinucci’s hilariously indignant objection to the charge that they buried the Obama quote on “bankrupting” the coal industry.

Well, it’s true that they ran a long, loooooooong front-page report on their interview that somehow never got around to mentioning any awkward words like “bankrupt”. Two days later, John Diaz wrote another piece about the interview that, as Beldar notes, said nothing about the coal industry other than:

He demonstrated depth on an assortment of issues: mortgage securities, coal, California air-pollution laws.

Would it be possible to include an actual demonstration of said “depth”? Ah, sadly, we’re all out of time. The piece was such a vapid yawneroo that the Chronicle’s own editors could think of nothing more enticing to label it than “Obama’s Straight-Ahead Style”. Not exactly what the lads in Fleet Street call a “****-me headline”.

And yet they had a “****-me” story. But they chose to bury not only the lead but the entire dog: “Obama’s Straight-Ahead Style”. Why not just call it “Nothing To See Here, Folks. Another Direct-To-Birdcage Production”?

There is no explanation for the Chronicle’s action if they’re in the newspaper business (ie, in attracting readers, selling copies, etc.). But it makes perfect sense if they’re in the ideological PR business in hopes of electing politicians sufficiently grateful to include them in the next $700 billion bailout. 

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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