Friday, January 27, 2006

Grip and grin

Consider those photos of Jack Abramoff and George Bush, floating out there somewhere in the ether, shielded from view. The White House is doing everything it can to ensure no image of the president and the disgraced Republican lobbyist/felon together ever graces your computer screen. Media outlets of all stripes are doing all they can to put those jpegs in the public domain.

This is a race between two titanic forces of American political/cultural/media life -- the Bush-Rove Machine and the Tabloid Culture. The former depends on the iron control of information and perception, and on the unerring loyalty of its followers. The latter thrives on the public's bottomless appetite for exposure and embarrassment. And it has a lot of cash to spread around. Which will win?