MAIN PRESS PLANS ANOTHER WEEK OF CHENEY SHOOTING COVERAGE
If the nation's top magazines have the pulse of the country -- get ready for another exhaustive week of exhaustive Cheney shooting coverage!
This just in... Both TIME and NEWSWEEK are planning high impact covers of Cheney for newsstands starting tomorrow, with each magazine rolling out top staff bylines and thousands of words on the hunting incident: TIME: With deep reporting by John Cloud, Mike Allen and Matthew Cooper/ Washington, Cathy Booth Thomas and Patricia Kilday Hart/ Austin, and Hilary Hylton. NEWSWEEK urgently brings in its big investigative guns: Evan Thomas, Michael Isikoff, Daniel Klaidman, Richard Wolffe, Holly Bailey, Mark Hosenball and Eleanor Clift in Washington and Carol Rust in Texas.
NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Alter essays that media budget cuts and shifting news priorities have contributed to the public being in the dark about Cheney's ways and means.
TIME headlines a poll: DICK CHENEY APPROVAL RATING 29%
NEWSWEEK editor Mark Whitaker defends his decision to push for another week of Cheney-Shooting coverage: "The reason we ultimately decided to stick with a cover is not because of the hunting incident itself-although we did turn up some new details that you might not have read elsewhere-but because of what it says about the mysterious world of the most powerful vice president of recent times."
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So let's get this straight. The new Hamas government in Palestine is pledging to step up violence against Israel. Other political parties (such as Fatah) are pledging to do the same. The new president of Iran is pledging to wipe Israel off the map, and making the nuclear weapons to do it. Riots are erupting all over the middle east in an attempt to squelch free speech in Europe through the intimidation of civil disobedience. The U.S. embassy in Indonesia has just been attacked by radical Muslims. The Whitehouse is about to sacrifice national security for a sweetheart port security deal with the United Arab Emirates. Former Vice President Al Gore has just trashed America in front of a Saudi audience, in a speech that was funded by relatives of Osama Bin Laden. Thousands die in a Philippines mudslide. Bird Flu is spreading across Asia while world governments are beginning to panic. All of these headlines, and the best the mainstream media can focus on is a hunting accident involving the Vice President.
Reminiscent of a certain cartoon hunter chasing that rascally wabbit, it's a scandal that can only be called "Fudd Gate." But there's really nothing that scandalous about a hunting accident. No. What's scandalous is the media coverage of it. A weeks worth of news has gone by. The middle east is about to erupt into World War III, and the whole Islamic world is going berserk over cartoon depictions of Mohammad. The former Vice President has just committed a treasonous act while funded by Bin Laden's family, and natural disasters are threatening the world. Yet we here in America are treated to relentless coverage of Fudd Gate, with the promise of another weeks worth to come. What's scandalous is just how out-of-touch our mainstream media is with the world and average Americans. In the media's constant effort to make this episode more than what it is, the media has proven it has no concept of what is important anymore. Even tabloid media reports more relevant news these days. I never thought I would be saying this, but I believe we've finally reached the point where readers of the National Enquirer are more informed than viewers of the alphabet networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN). It's positively scandalous!