During several weeks of media honeymoon, the press continues going along with the Bush Administration's scripted agenda, minimizing the implications of controversial cabinet appointments, privatizing public services for the needy, ignoring the growing intensity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict while simultaneously increasing Middle East tensions with attacks against Iraq and avoiding hard questions about the US submarine's failure to rescue Japanese survivors in the water off Hawaii. The US media has chosen to follow the GOP lead and ratchet up the Clinton-bashing over the pardon of Marc Rich.
Even the watered-down tax cut and federal budget debate has been given gentle treatment. For example, few if any hard looks at the figures for education spending during weeks of photo ops and sound bytes from the Pres and Education Secretary Rod Paige. Spending specifics on domestic programs have been generally treated as trivial details, amounts to be filled in later, after Congress approves the blank checks. No one asks if "fuzzy math" will be used to balance the books or if all this is part of a system of "voodoo economics."
There are hard questions being left unasked and obviously unanswered about energy policy, US- European relations over the continuation of the destabilizing Star Wars program, and the desperation expressed by Russia over the casual disregard by Bush advisors of the implications of trashing the ABM treaty. Many other difficult issues are swept under the rug and left there by intrepid journalists, who, after the blizzard of controversy over the 2000 Election and vote non-count, seem to need a break and prefer to downplay problems in order to get back to "business as usual."