Thursday, May 24, 2007

Is a speech really news?

Bush was in Connecticut yesterday. In so far as a presidential visit warrants coverage, particularly when he was greeted by 1,000 anti-war protestors (I use "greeted" loosely as he made sure his route never crossed their path), then it's news.

But, for years I've wondered how newsworthy a political speech is, unless the facts therein are vetted and analyzed by the press.

This morning's coverage of the speech by The Hartford Courant did a bit of analysis:

His speech bound the Iraq war and al-Qaida into a noxious matrimony. Without mentioning that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the U.S. invasion, he focused on the two being inseparable.

But Bush trotted out his list of "prevented attacks," a list he has used before, and it was filled with impossible to prove tales of Osama bin Laden trying to establish an al- Qaida outpost in Iraq from which to attack the U.S. and other targets. He failed to mention that al-Qaida didn't exist in Iraq until we got there and created the perfect fertile soil in which it could bloom.

So, along with the cute photo on page 1, should the Courant have printed a complete list of speech inaccuracies? Otherwise, it's the same as printing a White House press release verbatim.


kam said...

If you think the Courant is going to turn into 'The Advocate', forget it. Their will always be a line they won't cross, and really bashing Bush is one. Maybe deep down the publishers and editors have bought into the whole 'We need the oilfields' thing.

Ed McKeon said...

I hope the Courant doesn't become the Advocate, because the Advocate has become pathetic. Worse yet, I hope the Courant, which continues to cut staff doesn't become the New Haven Register.