Thursday, January 11, 2007

Night and day, revisited

I may begin a new segment here on the Crush Liberalism Objective World News Service (aka CLOWNS), called Night and Day. N&D will be an illustration of how completely different a reaction or interpretation can be as seen through the lens of the MSM and of normal America.

Today's N&D will be the reaction to last night's Iraq policy speech by the president. Gerard Baker thinks that the president showed leadership and resolve, some might say courage, in the face of adversity:
President Bush's address to the nation last night was not just a rejection of the political clamor at home for an early withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. It was not simply a rebuff to those in his own party and in the Pentagon who believe that victory in Iraq is irretrievable from the mire in which the US finds itself. It was not merely an admission of mistakes in the execution of this calamitous war so far.

It was a clarion reaffirmation, even in the midst of unparalleled adversity, of the entire foreign policy strategy that drove the Bush administration in the weeks and months after September 11, 2001. It was a defiant and ringing rededication of a beleaguered president in the final two years of his term to the revolution in global affairs he unleashed five years ago.
But in just 20 minutes last night Mr Bush made clear that he defiantly rejects not only the Baker recommendations of a date for a US withdrawal from Iraq and diplomatic engagement with Iraq's troublesome neighbours, but the whole critique that the White House policies for the last few years have failed.
Mr Bush's message was startling and clear - there is No Turning Back under this presidency. He remains defiant in the teeth of rising domestic political opposition, unsettling military doubts about the efficacy of the Iraq strategy and deepening international contempt for both his objectives of remaking the Middle East and his chosen means of deploying US power to do it.
Having seen presumably the same speech, frequent critique gauche Howard Fineman of the "we swear we know there were flushed Korans at Gitmo" magazine Newsweak saw fear and indecision:
George W. Bush spoke with all the confidence of a perp in a police lineup. I first interviewed the guy in 1987 and began covering his political rise in 1993, and I have never seen him, in public or private, look less convincing, less sure of himself, less cocky. With his knitted brow and stricken features, he looked, well, scared. Not surprising since what he was doing in the White House library was announcing the escalation of an unpopular war. (Looks like someone's been hitting the DNC buzzword playbook, eh Howie? - Ed.)
But if he was trying to assure the country that he had confidence in his own plan to prevent that collapse, well, a picture is worth a thousand words. (I guess Gerard Baker can't count to a thousand. - Ed.)
I find it fascinating that two seemingly bright gentlemen can see the same speech and come to completely and diametrically different conclusions. If one didn't know any better, one would swear that the stories' templates were written in advance (before the speech), with details filled in after the fact.