Monday, April 16, 2007


CBS News had a special 1 hour edition tonight with Katie Couric live from Blacksburg, presumably so everybody can see for themselves how much she cares. Hey, screw the ratings boost the news gets when something interesting and terrible happens. Yes, what happened today is genuinely horrible, but how are the news networks different from more run of the mill ambulance-chasers?

As I think I've written before, I don't think George Bush,jr is stupid. He's strikes me as someone who, though narrow-minded and incurious about things that don't strike him as immediately interesting, is generally shrewd with regard to things that do matter to him. He/Cheney/Rove does(do?) strike me as someone(s) who will look at the horrible events at Virginia Tech this morning and see political opportunity, and I have a certain queasy feeling about it.

I could well see the white house calling for some ostensibly benign sounding legislation, like the "Safe Campus Initiative" or something. Legislation designed to reinforce the Patriot Act and give federal officials greater powers to inspect college facilities, including the personal effects of students, college computer systems, etc. I could even see the Bushies vaguely suggesting they'd even maybe, kind of, of sort of, maybe favor some sort of gun control.. They'd do this indirectly through a surrogate, say Elizabeth Dole or Arlen Specter. Then they'd quickly backtrack, and point out they only meant on college campuses, and maybe not even there, etc. But by then, you'd have a bunch of democratic senators who'd taken the bait, finding themselves hectored by the supposedly liberal media for not supporting the administration's initiative, now only a design to enable the feds to more easily snoop on students and faculties. Dick Morris used to call it "triangulation."

Less cynically,Helena Cobban on the events at Virginia Tech, here.

Above: more from CBS's 4.16 home page.

*I understand that the notion that the Chinese character for crisis means opportunity is not really accurate, but it still makes for a nice reference.

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