I didn’t watch Bush last night. I was teaching and forgot to set the ReplayTV. (Better than Tivo!) I don’t know that it would do any good for me to watch it anyway. My opinions are pretty set on this guy and I wouldn’t do anything more than throw some red meat to the people who already feel strongly about the president.
President Bush said on Tuesday night that he still intended to turn over control to a government in Iraq by June 30. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)
Which is part of the problem for Americans and their media, politics and discourses. We’ve become way too polarized as to how we view the world, with barely an attempt to see what’s really happening. I’m guilty of it, and, truth be told, since I got back from Iraq in April last year, I’ve also promoted this polarization. Right-wing, pro-war folks by and large have their universe of friends and media in which to swim. The flip-side is true for the left as well — although we’re not nearly as well-funded.
So I’m trying to get back to just reporting. Like I said, I’m trying to pitch an interview I did with a senior aide to Sayyid Sistani and when that happens, I’ll post the transcript. And when I go back to Iraq, I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum. Things are bad there, but maybe they’re not as bad as most people on the left seem to think. Right-wing bloggers and their fellow travelers certainly seem to think so.
Or maybe it’s worse than we even imagine. The point is that I don’t know, and the reason I’m going is because I want to find out. And I want to tell you about it. A reporter should be able to hold an opinion — that Bush in an idiot and his policies are disastrous — and yet be able to acknowledge successes and report the events of the day. I did it during the war and I’ll do it again. The corollary to this is that the readers need to understand that as well: that reporters are human, we have our ideas, and most of us are trying our best to find out the truth.
But I don’t think I can watch a Bush press conference and give an objective take. So, I’m sorry, everyone, but the speech has been widely dissected on the blogosphere.