Thursday, July 21, 2005

NYT: Nobody Fluffs It Better than Bumiller

Yesterday, while noting the Times' saturation coverage on Supreme Court nominee Roberts (which continues today), I offered that Elisabeth Bumiller truly was the type of "reporter" to handle these sort of stories because her overheated "style" allows for "announcements" to easily be turned into "events."

There's another key to that "style" and we see it this morning in "An Interview by, Not With, the President." There is so much wrong with this "reporting" that hours could be spent going over it (and skewering her). Instead, we'll zero in on one passage from this morning:

Judge Wilkinson said he was not asked about his views on issues like abortion or even a particular legal case in his interview with Mr. Bush as well as in interviews with others on the White House staff; he would not say if he had talked to Vice President Dick Cheney. "I wasn't crowded in any way," Judge Wilkinson said. "There was no litmus test applied." Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said in a briefing on Wednesday that neither Mr. Bush nor White House staff members asked any of the finalists about their positions on issues.

Has she completely left the planet earth? Seriously, has fluff poured out of her head for so long that nothing's left?

There are so many problems with a reporter including such an assertion/claim in a story but it's doubly so for Bumiller.

Why is that?

Is November 12, 2004 so far in the past?

It hasn't even been a year.

I can pull my from clippings and find an article, a Times article, from that day.

On November 12, 2004 an article ("Choice of Gonzales May Blaze a Trail for the High Court") appeared in the Times:

Conservatives said on Thursday that a leading candidate for the first nomination to the Supreme Court was Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, who sits on the federal appeals court in Richmond. He was a protege of the late Justice Lewis F. Powell, who was widely admired. Although Judge Wilkinson is opposed to abortion, he may be palatable to some Democrats because of his strong environmental and First Amendment record.

Oh, someone scoffs, Bumiller's too busy fluffing to read her own paper!

Possibly so. But does she not read her own copy? Bumiller's credited for that article (along with Neil A. Lewis).

Maybe Lewis wrote the portion of the article that makes Bumiller's "reporting" today so insipid?
Maybe while he was writing it, Bumiller was off doing finger excercises to work her stenography muscles? Or maybe she was attempting another creative visualization where fluff bends reality?

Why would Bully Boy need to ask someone their position on something if it's in the public record? And why would it be "news" that the question wasn't asked of someone know to be opposed to abortion?

Common sense doesn't allow one to lead the Elite Fluff Patrol, true. But while posing as a journalist, as Bumiller continues to do, she might attempt to find a way to reconcile this morning's cheery-Sunshine-Day "reporting" with a claim made eight months ago.

Only Bumiller can trumpet as "NEWS!" that someone known to be opposed to abortion (someone she even reported that on) wasn't asked where he stood on abortion by the Bully Boy.

Wilkinson claims he wasn't asked about abortion. Bumiller reports it's as "NEWS!" How is it news? It's not news at all.

And a real reporter, if they felt the need to include such a fluff quote, would have then noted, "Wilkinson's position on abortion has been widely reported by some, including this reporter, to be opposed to abortion."

Squad leader can't do that. Doing that turns her tiny, nothing "report" into even less of a reason for a tree to die. So she fluffs.

Nobody fluffs better than Bumiller. That's why she can tease an annoucement into an event. That's why she see "significance" where there is none. It requires shutting off all skepticism, reason and memory, but time and again, she demonstrates that she's able to do just that.

Doing so today allows her to push the talking point that Bully Boy's all about the process, why he didn't even ask a potential nominee about abortion!

Reality, as opposed to talking points, will note that Wilkinson is reported to be opposed to abortion. Reality will also note that Bumiller should have known that fact since she previously reported it. Reality rears it's head from time to time; however, it's sadly no match for the skill of the Elite Fluff Patrol squad leader.

As we've noted before:

If this is what access brings, someone cut her off, she's had more than enough. Can we get a designated driver?

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