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Rove's Understanding of the Media

Jay Rosen: Karl Rove and the Religion of the Washington Press. Savviness is what journalists admire in others. Savvy is what they themselves dearly wish to be. (And to be unsavvy is far worse than being wrong.) Savviness—that quality of being shrewd, practical, well-informed, perceptive, ironic, “with it,” and unsentimental in all things political—is, in a sense, their professional religion. They make a cult of it. And it was this cult that Karl Rove understood and exploited for political gain.

My own impression is that Jay is a little too hard here on the Washington press corps, and in particular on the (yes, relatively few) members who have not fallen prey to insider-ness.

Fascinating read otherwise…

(Note: Jay and I are on each others’ advisory boards; and we’re working on an upcoming project together.)

2 Comments on “Rove's Understanding of the Media”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Aug 14th, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Jay Rosen:
    “Have you noticed, in all the press coverage of Rove’s announcement yesterday, no one spoke of knowing Karl Rove as a source…”

    Should they? Is that standard journalistic behavior?

    More from Jay:
    “That’s the real Karl Rove. But you wouldn’t know it from the ‘despised and deified’ coverage we saw yesterday.”

    Hmm. Can we have a show of hands for how many people think that Karl Rove public reception will be transformed overnight by some sleepy late summer reporting? Gallup’s been keeping their eyes (or rather, our eyes) on the favorability ratings of people in the news. Rove’s 21%-44% F-to-U rating in March is pretty much in the cellar, lower than his boss the Prez and his protector, the AG. The only people viewed more unfavorably by the Americans who are not a foreign dictator (Castro, Chavez, Cheney) are Rosie O’Donnell, and Brittney Spears. Even Lindsay Lohan enjoyed a 27% favorability as recent as March (she did, after all, sparkle in the too-long-by-two-hours Prairie Home Companion movie.)

    The Rove poll was conducted before his “MC Rove” turn.

    Here’s Ken Duberstein, former Reagan Chief of Staff, in a Jeff Greenfeld story for CBS Evening News: “Karl Rove has become the second most famous four-letter-word in Washington.”

  2. #2 Jon Garfunkel
    on Sep 27th, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    I stand somewhat corrected. Gallup’s poll from Aug 13-16th found that Rove’s favorability rating rose 5 points– pulling them from the “never heard of/no opinion.”

    Hardly the extreme makeover that shoddy reporting was expected to effect, but a bump nonetheless.