BUSH PRESS COVERAGE….Over at the newly rechristened CJR Daily, Susan Stranahan wonders if the press will be tougher on Bush in his second term than it was in his first. Here’s the response that jumped out at me:

“History doesn’t give us much evidence of that,” says author Mark Hertsgaard. “Look at the Reagan era. The media certainly didn’t get tougher in his second term.”

….”I think that basically press coverage of any president is only as critical as the opposition party is critical,” says Hertsgaard, who also wrote about the media and Reagan for The Nation shortly after the ex-president died in June.

I think that’s exactly right. With occasional exceptions like Watergate, the press rarely starts crusades of its own. If Democrats want coverage of Bush to be more critical, they’re the ones who are going to have to feed consistent, ongoing critical coverage to the media. Are they up to the task?

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