Digby directs us to a perfectly dreadful portrait of George W. Bush by the AP's Ben Feller. As Digby sez, it actually mostly confirms some very basic suspicions about Bush -- namely, that he's an spoiled, authoritarian frat-boy jerk. And this was supposed to be a flattering piece.
But the piece actually tells us even more about our dysfunctional press corps. It's really a regurgitation of the basic theme of Bush coverage we got back in 2000: He's a swell fella you wouldn't mind having a beer with. A guy who will always "do the right thing" regardless of consequences.
Even if it means running the economy off a cliff, getting us into a costly and needless war on false pretenses, and tearing up the Geneva Conventions. Because, you know, "the right thing" is in the eye of the wealthy beholder.
Not that any of this is mentioned in Feller's piece. We do get told that Bush has deep emotional feelings for "the families that died" -- though his policy record shows little evidence of this. Indeed, what his record shows is a self-absorbed recklessness with those lives.
The entire portrait is pure fluff. We learn nothing of consequence about the man, nor do we get any insight into how his thoughtless policies have bounced back. In a man worthy of the presidency, his deeds and the countless lives lost under his carelessness would at some point provoke some deeper reflection; but we clearly need not concern ourselves that such thoughts will ever disturb George W. Bush's pretty little mind.
Nor do they ever seem to cross the reporter's mind. It's emblematic, really, of the obsequious coverage of the Bush presidency throughout from the White House press corps particularly and the Village generally -- obsessed with nonsequiturs and trivia, incapable of examining serious issues or dealing with the real-world effects of his policies.
I guess that's why we have a blogosphere.