Last week, the Tribune printed this piece by Jane Eisner. This was not the worst piece reprinted by the Tribune (witness today's guest column about American gulags), and I actually agree with the Editorial Panel's take on the article, here, to the effect that the President is merely "spending" his political capital.

Nevertheless, the Eisner piece provides an interesting insight into what has been called the media's "echo chamber." First, an event happens. Let's use Hurricane Katrina.

The media quickly denounces the administration's response as a dismal failure and lays it at the feet of President Bush. Despite the existence of much evidence of the failure of local, Democratic regimes, the Bush-haters in the press blame the administration.

Then, they pound the drum. Feeding on each other. Failure. Bush. Failure. FEMA. Failure. Bush. On one news show, the talking heads quote another talking head on a different show. Echo #1.

Then when all the sheeple start to soak it up, out come the opinion polls. And here's the second echo. There's a whole new round of news stories about the assertion that the people think the administration failed. Well, duh. It's been pounded into their heads.

So, back to the Eisner piece. At the time they occurred, certain stories were reported as negatives for the President. Not so amazingly, his approval ratings fell. So now she is writing about his approval ratings.

Echo. Echo. Echo.

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