The Mercury News had an article this morning headlined “Gore says Bush broke law in use of wiretaps”. (The link may go stale after a week, alas.) Which really annoyed me for two reasons:

  1. Why can’t the newspapers venture an opinion themselves on whether or not the wiretaps are illegal? This isn’t entirely a straightforward factual matter, but as it is, I get the impression that, if Bush walked into a 7-11, pulled out a gun, and killed everybody there, the papers wouldn’t venture an opinion as to whether or not doing so is illegal: maybe that’s legal for the Commander in Chief, too! (Speaking of which, anybody else like watching Boondocks?) If they think that the legality of the acts is seriously in question, then they should interview experts on the subject, not dance around it or post opinions from random people. Which brings us to my second point:
  2. Who cares what Al Gore thinks? In general, why is their political coverage almost all treated as a combination of partisan fights and personality coverage? If I want that sort of reporting, I can read the sports pages or the entertainment pages. Honestly, much of the time I think the quality of analysis is better in those sections than in the front section: it sure seems to me that the Merc’s movie reviewers take their job more seriously than their political analysts.

Despite all of which, I still think the Merc is probably a better than average paper. Sigh. At least it has a good comics section.

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