That racist schmuck
What will it take for the media to talk about Giuliani in at least a quasi-realistic way?
For years, he has been a mythical hero -- a case study in how centrist media embraces a complete wacko because they like him personally.
As Newsweek wrote the history in their cover-story from a few weeks ago, "As long as Rudy got results, the public didn't particularly care how he did it, or how many fights he picked."
That article, titled "Master of Disaster", epitomizes the media attitutde toward Giuliani. They write off almost anything that doesn't fit with the storyline of him as hero.
Media Matters, in their response to Newsweek, hit some of the key points, a lot based on Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins' book.
The question is, with Giuliani running for Prez, will the media finally take a real look at his history?
The LATimes was - perhaps not surprisingly - the first to step in and offer up the theory that, maybe, just maybe, Giuliani did a few things wrong. In their front pager last Sunday, they point out that some "foes" suggested that his performance in regards to 9/11 wasn't so hot. Now, they weren't willing to put these criticism into their own voice; they were just quoting others. So that's a hesitant start; just a he-said-she-said piece. But it's better than nothing.
I see the Giuliani criticisms falling into two general areas: he was a racist, pro-police brutality mayor, and his performance before, during, and after 9/11 was horrible.
Unfortunatley, I don't think the 1st area is going to get much talk, but the 2nd could make a nice little controversy (if 5 years late). It's going to be hard for the media to jump into it, in part because they will have to reveal that everything they're reported about Giuliani's 9/11 performance in the past was lies. But on the other hand, if they tell it as a controversy -- a battle of two different storylines -- like the LATimes did, then I can see them going there.
For a primer on Giuliani's action before, during and after 9/11, listen to the Barrett interview on Counterspin.