April 8, 2004

Roger Simon's Phrase That Pays

Blogmensch Roger Simon's Watching Condi or... "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Kerrey" contains a gem of insight and phrasing that I hope we'll be seeing more of in the near future. He opens with:

I have no idea what the pundits will conclude, but watching Rice and Bob Kerrey jousting at this precise second, I am struck by how our system is about The Politics of the Last Five Minutes. That is one of the great flaws in a democracy, perhaps an inevitable one that we must live with. That the situation in Iraq looks bad this precise week is informing all of Kerrey's questions. Is that good? Not to me it isn't because I don't know... and no one knows... what the real situation is in Iraq. We probably won't know for some time to come. So everything is skewed. [Emphasis Added]
"The Politics of the Last Five Minutes" is a brilliant phrase since it sums up everything that's going hairwire in this country during this election season in seven words. Little wonder since 'the news repeated every five minutes' seems to be the driving force behind how the electronic media reports everything that crosses its desk. And reports it again, and again, and again. Some themes have staying power: weird superstar child molesters, grisley slayings of mother and near-term baby, where this or that athelete, celebrity, politician chose to park his privates that was not sanctioned by marriage, Iraq -- Quagmire or Morrass?, Bush-- Liar or Prevaricator? and, the current favorite, "Unbuilding 9/11" aka "walking back the cat."

It belabors the well-know point that "in-depth" to the electronic media means a report that spans one commercial break. Nevertheless, one hopes that policy and decisions on a national and global level are somehow getting done outside of "The Politics of the Last Five Minutes."

Then again there's the old adage about "Hoping in one hand..."

Posted by Vanderleun at April 8, 2004 10:19 AM | TrackBack
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