Monday, September 05, 2005

Counterpoint To Post On Silent Democratic Leaders

Dave Johnson, of the outstanding Seeing The Forest, sent me a note with an interesting counterpoint – but expressed as more of a friendly offering of additional information – on my piece today in which I questioned the silence of our Democratic leaders in the last week.

Dave raised the point of whether simply not seeing or reading about strong Democratic opposition to the bungling of this disaster response means such vocal opposition doesn't exist – in other words, are our leaders yelling loudly but simply not being heard and reported by the mainstream media?

I think it's a point worth considering and Dave wrote a good piece about it a few months ago called "Democrats Speaking Out" in which he told of important issues pushed by leading Democrats, but not covered by the media. "I think what is going on is that they are speaking out, every day, and the media is not covering it. Meanwhile the Right gets full-time media coverage of their crap," said Dave in this May 27 post.

A good argument to be sure and there are few people more reluctant than me to criticize Democratic leaders without a solid foundation.

But with total due respect for Dave's point – which I believe is true with the corporate media far more often than not – I'm not sure that's the case here. While it's totally possible that the television news media have ignored high-level Democratic outcry, I can't help but believe they would chomp at the bit to show the likes of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton bashing the Bush administration in prime time over Hurricane Katrina response.

Even if they don't give a damn about reporting the news, I would think the "good television" aspect of it would compel them to air such views. But I could be wrong. Certainly, Dave's been at this far longer than me and his resume speaks for itself.

I'd like to hear your thoughts: Are our Democratic leaders speaking up loudly enough and simply not getting coverage, or are they more silent than these circumstances warrant? Please write to me at I'll post your responses.