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Monday, August 28, 2006


Absurd headline of the day

Under the headline "Katrina recovery defining elections," the San Jose Mercury News (not online) runs this subhead:
Analysis: Bungled response will haunt wartime President's legacy of compassion
"Legacy of compassion"? What banned substance have those headline writers been ingesting? The last evidence of "compassion" in the Bush Presidency was in the commercials he ran during his 2000 election campaign. Oh wait, I'm wrong. I forgot about the "compassion" he's exhibited for those poor unfortunates having to pay such high capital gains taxes and those other poor unfortunates (actually mostly the same ones) having to pay estate taxes on the billion-dollar estates of their relatives.

The New York Times, from where the article originates, has a slightly less offensive headline: "Year After Katrina, Bush Still Fights for 9/11 Image," although once again it's all about image, not substance. The article features such lines as this:

If the bungled federal response to Hurricane Katrina called into question the president’s competence, that Air Force One snapshot, coupled with wrenching scenes on the ground of victims who were largely poor and black, called into question something equally important to Mr. Bush: his compassion.
As with the Mercury News headline, this sentence assumes the reality of such a thing as "Bush's compassion." Not to mention once again focusing on the "reality" of the snapshot, rather than on the event itself (Bush's quick flyover in lieu of an actual visit). And finally, even a completely incompetent President could have demonstrated real compassion simply by being there, and by conveying a sense of urgency to his administration; the fact that this President did neither demonstrated not just his incompetence, but his complete lack of compassion.

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