Thursday, June 17, 2010

Form Over Substance, Revisited

Newsweek points out how the mainstream media obsessively covered the form of the President's speech on the BP spill - what he should or must say, how he should say it, whether he said things the right way, how happy or disappointed they were with what he said....
[Chris] Matthews was even more chagrined by the feeling of expectations not being met: “I don’t sense executive command. And I thought that was the purpose of this speech tonight. Command and control.” Then he offered a sample of a superior speech that he would have given. “ ‘I’m calling the shots. My name is Barack Obama. I’m the boss. I’m telling people what to do.’ ” (The word he was fishing for seems to be “decider,” but maybe he had just enough self-awareness not to say it, considering how it turned out for the planet the last time our president talked that way.) Borger, for her part, fretted that “I don’t know how much inspiration this will give to people.” On the bright side, she continued, “at least he said [he’s] in control.”
After all, who cares about the issues or the substance of the speech, right?

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