A reader disagrees on

July 17, 2006 2:46 p.m.

A reader disagrees on CNN’s fronting the Bush remarks …

Man, do i disagree w/ you on CNN putting that up front. Yes, of course, this little ‘shit’ reference in and of itself is not really newsworthy. But look at the video–his insouciant air, as he chomps on his butter role, Blair hunched over him–the ignorance (Syria has much less influence over hezbollah than it did a year or two ago)…It all encapsulates a moment, almost a zietgeist. We’ve got no effing leadership at the top, and he’s fiddliing incoherently in the midst of this like a child w/ a tantrum.

TPM Reader WD reacts similarly …

I’m not sure this is such a minor story. Many people who frequent this and other blogs have internalized the fact that Bush is, at best, less than statesmanlike when not scripted and surrounded by political props. Outside of this, this message does not appear as much outside of the late night talk shows.

People ask why the U.S. is in the midst of this crisis. This recording provides a simplistic but understandable answer. While none of the major media will directly offer this intepretation, I think it’s clear that they feel that this brief clip captures a president who does not look emotionally or intellectually capable of leading in this crisis.

In a world where our media is incapable of directly stating that view, clips like this exist as a proxy for honest analysis. It’s news because of it stands for what the media feels it cannot say.

It seemed to me that CNN’s headlining was all about the expletive. But these readers may be right that the broader context of the statements is the issue. And it’s difficult, both in economy of language and within the canons of objectivity to convey what those mean.

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