Saturday, July 29, 2006

Journalists Blast Rove's Role in Journalism

Filed at 4:35 p.m. ET Saturday July 29, 2006
Special to The New York Herald Journal Tribune American Sun

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Journalists said Saturday that Presidential adviser Karl Rove often criticizes journalism professionals because he wants to draw attention away from the ''corrosive role'' his own activities play in reporting and opinion coverage.

''Some decry the professional role of journalism, they would like to see it disappear,'' journalists told graduating students at the George Washington University Graduate School of Perception Management. ''Rove argues that journalism professionals are ruining American politics -- asking candidates about actual facts and events instead of about the public relations campaigns he runs on behalf of his clients.''

But journalists turned that criticism on Rove.

''It makes perfect sense to us that most of these critics are, like Rove, political fixers,'' journalists said. ''Perhaps they don't like sharing the field of play. Perhaps they want to draw attention away from the corrosive role their campaigns have played focusing attention on phony issues and not reality.''

Journalists told about 100 graduates trained to be political operatives that they should respect the instincts of the American reporter.

''Rove, who is credited with stealing the Presidency for an obscure and incompetent governor in 2000 and 2004, holds that reporters are dumb, ill informed and easily misled, that reporters can be manipulated by a clever ad or a smart mind,'' said the journalists, who spoke from behind a curtain but with one voice. ''We've seen this cynicism over the years from political professionals and campaign contributors. American journalists are not policy wonks, but they have great instincts and try to do the right thing.''

Journalists said it is ''wrong to underestimate the intelligence of the American reporter, but easy to overestimate their interest. Much tugs at their attention.''

But they said reporters are able to watch campaigns and candidates closely and ''this messy and imperfect process might produce great leaders, not that it has yet.''


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