Saturday, March 19, 2005

Agenda Setters

Josh Marshall writes:
One of the Democrats' greatest problems -- far more insidious than many realize -- is their desire to gain the approval and approbation of establishment Washington and its A-list pundits.
It may be true, in that it forces them to operate in the weird echo chamber of Washington opinion when the issues have national importance (do we really want the Georgetown party circuit determining what policy makers think is right and important?). But then, it's not so insane. When the A-list pundits are reporters and the like, they are the ones who determine how the masses perceive what's going on in Washington, they are "agenda setters." Say what you will, but it's not so insane to cater to such people. Not doing so, in fact, can be disastrous in that press coverage will create the impression that you are doing the "wrong" thing; and there is an odd hysterisis in politics: (recent, and more distant) history matters, if press coverage is bad even if you are right on the issues, then you are doomed, unless you have some way of circumventing those agenda setters.


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