Thursday, January 27, 2005

Politics: Huge non-story with Media Matters whining that Charles Krauthammer was at a meeting with a group of people at the White House who was asking for input on the Inaugural speech.

"....Two days later, on Jan. 22, The Washington Post reported: "The planning of Bush's second inaugural address began a few days after the Nov. 2 election with the president telling advisers he wanted a speech about 'freedom' and 'liberty.' That led to the broadly ambitious speech that has ignited a vigorous debate. The process included consultation with a number of outside experts. ... One meeting ... included military historian Victor Davis Hanson, columnist Charles Krauthammer, and Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis, according to one Republican close to the White House." Shearer said Krauthammer -- who began the year with 143 newspaper clients -- was invited to the White House Jan. 10 along with a group of historians "for informal, off-the-record discussions on American Middle East policy. Charles was included in this group because he is one of the most knowledgeable people on the region, which he has been writing about for nearly 25 years. The discussions, with several below-Cabinet-level officials attending, centered on the United States' standing in the region and what needs to be done to help the peace process. Clearly, these officials were interested in divergent views."
Now even conservatives meeting with other conservatives is a crime. This is not Armstrong Williams all over again. Where was the outrage from the print media when John Kerry met with these people in Al Franken's apartment?
"There are but a few weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Time has grown short. In an effort to galvanize the message Kerry wants to deliver in the time remaining, he convened a powerful roster of journalists and columnists in the New York City apartment of Al Franken last Thursday. The gathering could not properly be called a meeting or a luncheon. It was a trial. The journalists served as prosecuting attorneys, jury and judge. The crowd I joined in Franken's living room was comprised of: Al Franken and his wife Franni; Rick Hertzberg, senior editor for the New Yorker; David Remnick, editor for the New Yorker; Jim Kelly, managing editor for Time Magazine; Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek; Jeff Greenfield, senior correspondent and analyst for CNN; Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times; Eric Alterman, author and columnist for MSNBC and the Nation; Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist/author of 'Maus'; Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post; Fred Kaplan, columnist for Slate; Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate and author; Jonathan Alter, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek; Philip Gourevitch, columnist for the New Yorker; Calvin Trillin, freelance writer and author; Edward Jay Epstein, investigative reporter and author; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who needs no introduction.
Hey, wait a second, I wrote how Howard Fineman was no fan of Howard Dean. The Deaniacs should remember, when did the press for Dean start to go south? A few weeks before the Iowa Primary, and look who is at this meeting a few weeks before the primary. A couple of Newsweek writers including one Howard Fineman. I was using this list to point out that columnist meeting with politicians of like mind is not new. But, this opens up a second question about how deep the press was in for Kerry.

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