The idea that Bush fights battles with imaginary foes–straw men or red herring–does not strike us as so novel. We’ve documented this tendency among the argumentative press for a while now. Only now is it getting any traction. It’s certainly reassuring that some in the media give a rats about such things. But it’s not so reassuring when they completely bungle in it the name of balance.

An example of the first (reassuring) thing is Dan Froomkin (go read the entire White House Briefing–it’s worth it):

>Rather than acknowledge and attempt to rebut the many concerns about his policies, Bush makes up inane arguments and then ridicules them.

And Froomkin gives abundant examples.

Over at the New York Times, Jim Rutenberg approaches the same topic, but finds something bad to say about Democrats:

>The White House is hardly alone in its pointed use of language against political opponents.

The Bush variety (again–look at the examples) of straw man or red herring amounts to much more than the pointed use of language. It’s the wholesale invention of an opponent. Do they Democrats do that? If they do, Rutenberg doesn’t say so.

2 thoughts on “Balance”

  1. so could we say that in accusing bush AND the democrats of the straw man, Rutenburg has a little tu quoque going?

  2. Excellent point. Perhaps beneath all of the bending over backwards to find balance stories there’s a little bit of the tu quoque.

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