.... (1) that private accounts are dead:
"Bush's First Defeat" (Jacob Weisberg, Slate)
George W. Bush's plan to remake the Social Security system is kaput. This is not a value judgment.It's a statement of political fact. In the months since the president first presented the idea as his top domestic priority, Democrats in Congress have unexpectedly unified in opposition to any reform based on private accounts. Several Republican senators whose votes would be needed for passage are resisting private accounts as well. And public opinion, which has never favored any form of privatization, is trending even more strongly against Bush's scheme. At this point, there's just no way that the president can finagle enough votes to win.
This means that Bush is about to suffer—and is actually in the midst of suffering—his first major political defeat.
... (2) that the Bush administration is fundamentally changing the relationship between the White House and the press:
"Bush team's press policy raises many concerns" (Mark Sauer, San Diego Union-Tribune)
Reporters sat on the edge of FDR's desk and bantered with the president. Harry Truman played poker with them. Eisenhower took the press to the golf course, Kennedy and Reagan took them to charm school.
George W. Bush has frozen them out.
At least that's what critics – ranging from a variety of columnists, many of them liberal, to the conservative Houston Chronicle editorial page to journalism-school professors and ethics experts – are saying.
It's not just that he abhors press conferences, holding just 14 in his first term compared with Clinton's 44, Bush's father's 83, Reagan's 27 and Carter's 59.
Bush's critics within the mainstream media and academia cite a growing list of incidents which they say are undermining the public's right to know and democracy itself.
But this age-old dance between a president and the media covering him has taken a decidedly 21st century twist, involving the high-tech venues of blogging and Web sites, newfangled prepackaged PR and political plants.
... (3) that the Media Research Center is a non-credible source of information.
"Propaganda Clothed as Critique" (Brian Montpoli, CJR Daily)
We'd like to take Brent Bozell's Media Research Center seriously. We really would. There are ideological biases in the press, overt and covert, and organizations like MRC can, theoretically, be an important resource in identifying and understanding them. Media Matters -- MRC's competitor on the left -- is, for example, a consistently useful resource, largely because the organization tends to limit its criticisms to specific instances of media malfeasance, and then supports those criticisms with documented facts and clear, transparent reasoning.
Underlying every assertion by MRC, on the other hand, is the notion that the media are consciously and deliberately acting to distort the news, thanks to an overriding and all-consuming ideological bias.