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As Mr. Alterman begins his article with a reference to the "elite media's infuriating combination of arrogance, ignorance and smug self-importance," I was expecting that he'd underscore in a more convincing manner exactly how this haughtiness played out in the Gibson/Palin ABC interview. Instead he chose to focus on how Gibson's purported ignorance regarding the "ambiguity and amorphousness" of the Bush doctrine--combined with his "arrogance"--undermined any effect that the revelation of Palin's complete lack of knowledge on the subject may have had on the election. Given the scorn expressed by the author regarding Gibson's failure to further elaborate on this "ambiguity" of the Bush Doctrine (which fails, in my mind at least, to demonstrate any ambiguity, in that it provides the US with a means of finding shabby excuses to attack any nation if that attack so happens to be in our nation's self-interest), I would expect the author to provide at least a brief comment on, or explanation of, this "ambiguity." Instead, Mr. Alterman repeatedly alludes to Charles Gibson's "ignorance" on the matter, without ever providing evidence that would point to the validity of his accusation.

Furthermore, I find it difficult to sympathize with any of Mr. Alterman's views when his own rhetoric seems to align him so closely with those whom he absolutely despises. He derides the "arrogance," "self-importance" and "elitism" of the mainstream media, and yet he adopts these same abhorrent characteristics in his own portraits of the MSM pundits. In addition to frequently pointing to Gibson's ignorance, he positions himself on his own high-horse when using diminutive language such as, "sorry, Charlie" and "Mr. Smartypants." In addition, his own logic seems at times to become confused. He states: "Again, Gibson may or may not be stupid," which would seem to indicate an admission on his part that the matter of Gibson's stupidity is ultimately not up to him to decide. Yet, a few lines later he states that "as with so many members of the punditocracy, his [Gibson's] apparent stupidity is adulterated with so much arrogance," etc.-- saddling up once again on that contemptuous and condescending high-horse whose pervasiveness in the MSM he consistently ridicules.

Benjamin Korones

Brooklyn, NY

Sep 23 2008 - 8:36pm

Web Letter

I agree. The MSM is bending over backwards to ensure the election of McCain-Palin. They have been drooling over Sarah Palin as if she were the second coming of Joan of Arc. We are in serious, serious trouble.

John Giarratana

Jersey City, NJ

Sep 21 2008 - 6:18pm

Web Letter

Charles Krauthammer's piece in the Washington Post, where he asserts that "there is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine," in defense of Sarah Palin's puzzlement during her ABC interview, is nothing more than a pig with lipstick. Just as the justifications for having invaded Iraq have shifted based on whatever competing lie would be most palatable to the American pulic (irrefutable evidence of WMD... links to 9/11... fomenting democracy in the Middle East), so too has the definition of the Bush doctrine.

I'm sorry to see that Mr. Alterman has taken to regurgitating right-wing talking points. The Bush doctrine is, and will forever be, "pre-emptive war"--the right of the United States to act unitarily and pre-emptively when its national security interests are threatened. This defintion is not contigent on whether the doctrine has proven successful in its first application in Iraq--its failure makes it no less ambiguous.

Charles Gibson might be arrogant and ignorant, but that question, and how it was asked, was right on the money.

Daniel Todd Vuic

San Francisco, CA

Sep 18 2008 - 7:54pm

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