Howling Dog Graphic
Point. Click. Search.

Contents: Archives:

Search this weblog
Search WWW
Howler Graphic
by Bob Somerby
E-mail This Page
Socrates Reads Graphic
A companion site.

Site maintained by Allegro Web Communications, comments to Marc.

Howler title Graphic
Caveat lector

10 January 2001

Our current howler: Letters...we get letters...

Synopsis: A number of readers have asked where we are. Today, we incomparably explain.

The analysts' efforts have been redirected, as many observant HOWLER readers have noticed. That's right—many readers have written in, noting the lack of recent HOWLERS. Indeed, one or two have dared to note that "Daily" Howler rightly means "every day."

Fair enough—here's what we've been doing. When the election came, we saw, fairly quickly, that we wouldn't be able to do real justice to the problems arising in Florida. The analysts were exhausted, and some were sick; meanwhile, there was such a flood of information and spin coming from Florida—much of it requiring legal critique—that we didn't feel we could maintain our standards in reviewing the press corps' work. So we started in on our next project—an incomparable book reviewing the coverage of the 2000 White House campaign. Things are moving along fairly well, but our team of single-minded analysts can only handle one task at a time. We think the HOWLER is dead for now, though Herculean labors continue apace on our sprawling, world-class campus. If we do figure out how to run two projects, we will almost surely direct the incomparable HOWLER to coverage of certain urban ed issues.

What will political coverage look like from here? We don't know, but we rather doubt that we will soon see the like of the Gore campaign coverage, which we take to have been the final act of the press corps' strange war against Clinton. In those strange wars, the "mainstream" and conservative press corps merged in their oddball pursuit of Vile William, eliminating the one tiny check-and-balance that exists for the major press. When the corps' two branches choose to merge, they can write and say whatever they please, free from even the slightest fear that anyone ever will voice an objection. Under Bush, the corps' two branches will diverge once again, restoring at least a minor check on the press corps' odd inclinations.

We think history will show that the press corps was becoming a more conservative institution in the Clinton years, and that the sturm und drang concerning Clinton was perhaps a cover for that rightward movement. In the last several decades, the press corps has become an institution exclusively driven by millionaires, who only naturally have found themselves drifting to the right. Who would ever design a press corps exclusively driven by millionaires? No one with an ounce of sense—but that's the corps we have today! If you've followed their groaning work with us, we're sure you'll join us in this one fond hope—we hope the money is spending real good, because a price has been paid in lost quality.

Meanwhile, we have appreciated, and been impressed by, our readers' recent inquiries. Be assured that our dogged young analysts are hard at work on their newest endeavor.