James Wolcott. Thank god he's got breath and a blog. The heroic stand of certain Democratic Senators puts him in a nostalgic mood:
"...Karp documents how the political establishment, military and Israeli lobbies, and media crippled Carter from the outset, cut him off at the ankles after his first few steps.
"In contrast, they knelt before Ronald Reagan with cupped hands, drinking in his every smile and aw-shucksy anecdote, abetting and rescuing him time and again from his own fatuous follies. Polls showed that the American people then were far less enamored of Reagan than the press, but the press listened only to itself and its masters. Whenever Reagan went too far, they and the Beltway crowd lay down to cushion his fall. "
The Carter years, folks, were the blueprint for everything that's happened since. The Republican attack machine was on him before the inauguration, as it would be on Bill Clinton sixteen years later. And the press would not be far behind. I particularly remember how CBS White House correspondant Leslie Stahl couldn't relay a single piece of news without explaining her take on the "political motives" behind it. And they did it all without email and fax machines.