Some of it is only safe to write in 2006, it seems. Dick Meyer's recent column is an odd example of this:
This is a story I should have written 12 years ago when the "Contract with America" Republicans captured the House in 1994. I apologize.
Really, it's just a simple thesis: The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos. Together, they comprised one of the oddest legislative power cliques in our history. And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do.
I'm not talking about the policies of the Contract for America crowd, but the character. I'm confident that 99 percent of the population — if they could see these politicians up close, if they watched their speeches and looked at their biographies — would agree, no matter what their politics or predilections.
I'm confident that if historians ever spend the time on it, they'll confirm my thesis. Same with forensic psychiatrists. I have discussed this with scores of politicians, staffers, consultants and reporters since 1994 and have found few dissenters.
"And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do." But the media is supposed to waddle around, wiggling their elbows and making duck noises while ridiculing, say, a Democratic politician? And all the time the Dick Meyers of this world go around discussing the stuff they do NOT write with scores of politicians, staffers, consultants and reporters?
I would have thought that the media has a duty to the citizens of this country and even to the citizens of this world, which is to inform them and to help them understand the context of what they hear from different opinion-makers. The BBC shows I listen to still try to do this by, for example, adopting an opposing position in the interviews and by not only quoting opinions from the two extreme end-points of some topic (LOVE broccoli! Bathe in it every night! NO! Broccoli is the DEVIL!) but by also adding more neutral information on the issues (the nutritional value of broccoli, recipes, sales data).