Wednesday, February 12, 2003

The false ideal of objectivity and neutrality that underlies American journalism means that our leaders' statements are given the benefit of the doubt not because journalists believe what they hear but because they think everyone else either believes it or wants to, and that it is not their job to offend people by telling them the truth. This describes, on the one hand, the cynicism of the mediocre and the passive -in regards 'serious' papers such as The Times- and on the other the cynical jealousy of failed intellectuals who seek their revenge by identifying with those they otherwise consider the rabble. The best lack all conviction...
and everybody else writes for the New York Post.

Apparently The White house had a copy of the Bin Laden tape five days ago. I can't see how this makes Powell look any less foolish and desperate.

I really am sick of this. I spend my evenings rewriting posts about nothing. I'd rather talk about something that interests me more than politics, but at the moment I don't see how.
A final comment. The best writer I know on the American scene is probably Joan Didion. Her writing has more weight and depth than anyone else I can think of, at least anyone born in this country and writing in english. She gives politics, the idea of it if not the fact, the respect it deserves. Reading her I imagine it being something more than the struggle between the blandly uplifting and the violent. She allows me to enjoy using my mind, and that gives me pleasure, surely the best reason to be alive.
I think one of the reasons her work is so consistantly interesting is that she has spent time at both ends of the pool, something very few people do these days who make a living being taken seriously. I remember occasionally as a kid seeing Gore Vidal on the Merv Griffen Show, but he's too busy playing the fifth Cambridge spy, as an 'Out' Etonian socialist. As if there weren't any contradiction there -regarding class not sexuality (but one may wonder.)
Now I'm catting it up as if I were playing one myself. One may wonder about that as well I suppose.

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