Skip to comments.A Bad First Draft
Posted on 12/26/2009 5:07:29 AM PST by ricks_place
Journalists make a hash of the decade that was.
Journalists, long on confidence but chronically short of knowledge, have been lately offering end-of-decade summations. The fact that the first decade of the 21st century doesn't actually end until this time next year hasn't slowed them down; and there's universal agreement that this was, as Andy Serwer wrote in Time, "the decade from hell."
No doubt, deep in the bowels of the Time-Life Building in Manhattan, where neither Life nor Time exists in the form they did when the building was constructed--and where neither may survive once the decade really does end--the sense of gloom must be palpable. The past decade was an epoch of "neglect," "greed," "self-interest," "deferral of responsibility," and, not least, the two presidential terms of George W. Bush. As "historian H. W. Brands of the University of Texas" points out, the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999--"an unfortunate tipping point of deregulation"--and so, according to Serwer, our first order of business in the new decade should be to "enact a 21st century version of Glass-Steagall." Then there was Hurricane Katrina. "An act of God, right?" asks Serwer. "Not really."
A few blocks away, at New York magazine, Michael Hirschorn points out that the dying decade was the era "when the bottom fell out of just about everything, including the idea of authority itself." This was because "we've had to tolerate the Bush presidency, born amid what was essentially a Supreme Court coup," which saddled America "with arguably the worst president in history." No explanation or comparison--or argument, really: Justan assertion of "Bush insanity," an entertaining list of scandals and oddities having nothing to do with George W. Bush, and the concluding wisdom that "the fear now is that no one is in charge..."
(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...
Trust the Historians to write History, unlikely.
Even worse is to trust journalists - whose business it is to hype the importance of whatever happened so recently that you haven't heard it from anyone else - to tell you what is and is not important in history.