Sunday, July 22, 2007

Times and Rudy: Deconstruct and Denigrate

In this morning's NY Times the paper focuses on Rudy Giuliani, with a long profile by Mike Powell that deals almost exclusively with race relations. Its failings? Primarily in the article's lack of context, and its reliance on Dinkins and Sharpton to provide the color commentary.

Where, for instance, is there any real discussion of the collapse of the political culture under the disastrous reign of Dinkins? The Korean boycott fiasco isn't even mentioned, and while crime reduction is discussed, it is done so in juxtaposition with Rudy's abrasiveness and the NYPD's aggressive tactics against blacks.

What a really thoughtful piece would do, is to examine the extent to which Giuliani altered the political culture in this city-and the fact that dissing Rev. Al was part of that change, and a healthy one at that. What's really newsworthy is the extent to which Sharpton-his past behavior and anti-Semitic rhetoric notwithstanding-has been legitimized, and can be seen by the Times as a reliable observer of Giuliani's mayoralty.

If Rudy manages to get the Republican nod, this line of attack-because it would be a mistake to see the Powell piece as anything but a broadside meant to aid and abet the burgeoning anti-Giuliani narrative that the Democrats are developing in anticipation of his candidacy-will become standard; with the media acolytes providing the "analysis" while operating really as only an amen chorus.