Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Beat Sweeteners"

Toby Herndon, the London Telegraph's chief America watcher, wrote a pretty spot-on assessment of the American press and it's relationship to power today:
A press like there is here in Washington, where reporters stand for the president and feel puffed up with pride when he calls on them to ask a question (very often a pretentious, look-at-me three-parter that has little to do with getting a decent answer).

How nice it would be if, like the US, the press would dutifully write “beat sweeteners” to ingratiate themselves, where stories are not written for fear of the journalist falling out of favour, where the political and media elites attend the same cocktail parties and envelope themselves in the same stultifyingly comfortable consensus about what is happening and what should be reported on.
No sooner had I found myself nodding in agreement to this piece then did I find this monstrosity of a "beat sweetener" on Sarah Palin in Newsweek. Go ahead, start reading and see how long you last.

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