Saturday, September 23, 2006

when non-news is bad news

The Drudge Report often likes to slap misleading headlines on linked articles about liberals and Democrats. The banner headline I currently see says "CLINTON ANGER UNLEASHED," which leads to a YouTube segment with an even more misleading title: "Bill Clinton Freaks Out."

While I'm a fan of neither Bush nor Clinton, I wouldn't describe the Clinton YouTube segment as a freak-out by any means (watch it here). A long while back, Drudge linked to a clip of Clinton truly losing it, and that one was awesome to behold-- the bulging neck veins, the quickly reddening cheeks, the clenched teeth. Quite entertaining.

I can't imagine the stress that comes with being a US president. In a media culture, you can't help noticing how the office changes a person: after four years, everyone ends up substantially leaner and grayer. I'm willing to forgive a few freak-outs here and there. Leaders have to be leaders, but they're also only human.

Upshot: Drudge's current "headline" isn't news at all. It's emotional manipulation of the right-wing constituency.


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