Friday, July 04, 2008

A Hopeful Fourth (for Media)

David Broader looks out from his Washington Post perch and finds a restive American right. He quotes from a Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation tract, which “sees a real threat in such things as multilingual ballots and bilingual classes. Such accommodations to the growing diversity of the population could lead to ‘many Americas, or even no America at all. . .Historical ignorance, civic neglect and social fragmentation might achieve what a foreign invader could not.’" Broader calls this all an “unwarranted” degree of pessimism.

Broader is more optimistic. He finds “plenty of vitality” in the American system. After all, “young people. . . found their way to the polling places in record numbers this year and joined enthusiastically in many campaigns.” Well, certainly in one campaign. Broader, like Michelle Obama, feels wonderful about an America where Barack steadily approaches the White House door.

Broader concludes on this remarkable note: “I have not worried about the fundamental commitment of the American people since 1974. In that year, they were confronted with the stunning evidence that their president had conducted a criminal conspiracy out of the Oval Office. In response, the American people reminded Richard Nixon, the man they had just recently overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term, that in this country, no one, not even the president, is above the law. And they required him to yield his office.”

1974. Not just the high water mark of media power (knocking a president out of office via investigative reporting, after having knocked the U.S. out of a war via frontline reporting), but specifically the high water mark of Washington Post power (see “All the President’s Men”). Broader is full of his institution because, friends, the media is (almost) back.

Happy Fourth, David Broader and friends. The media’s Indian Summer of influence seems on its way.

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