Across The Media Universe

Here's a roundup of stories in medialand worth keeping an eye on:

According To Jimmy: That's Mr. Carter, thank you. The former president is saying the US won't have an honest discussion about Israel – and he's getting plenty of flack for it, including accusations of anti-Semitism. "The many controversial issues concerning Palestine and the path to peace for Israel are intensely debated among Israelis and throughout other nations — but not in the United States," writes Carter. "For the last 30 years, I have witnessed and experienced the severe restraints on any free and balanced discussion of the facts. This reluctance to criticize any policies of the Israeli government is because of the extraordinary lobbying efforts of the American-Israel Political Action Committee and the absence of any significant contrary voices." Roy Greenslade writes that while some bloggers have been sympathetic to Carter's view, mainstream media outlets have not been – which, Greenslade suggests, nicely illustrates Carter's point.

Not That Garner: Sorry, "Alias" fans – the Garner we want to discuss is Jay, not Jennifer. The former Director of Reconstruction & Humanitarian Efforts in Iraq gave an interview to C-SPAN's Brian Lamb about the war and his experiences, and it hasn't gotten very much attention. (No doubt at least in part because a certain report cast quite a big shadow. The Garner interview was taped before it came out.) At one point, Garner offered up his comments on media coverage of the war, saying he'd "like to see a little bit more reflection on the positive things and the good things that our soldiers and marines do over there." Lamb asked for an example. "…places where they're working with an Iraqi unit and they're highly successful in that unit. Or places where they've gone in and restored schools or hospitals. And places where they've integrated themselves with the people, and they get along well with the people, and places where the people like them there and want to see them there," said Garner. "I think there's a lot of stories like that."

The Audacity! Of Hope, that is. Barack Obama-mania continues unabated, and the coverage of the freshman Senator and maybe 2008 presidential contender's visit to New Hampshire – part of his book tour – has reached the level of insanity, as Time puts it. More than 150 members of the media joined Obama in the Granite State, some getting quotes about how Obama has reached the level of "messianic." (But I thought we weren't "comparing him to Jesus Christ?") Last week, CJR Daily's Paul McLeary mocked the media's obsession and the emerging Hillary vs. Obama storyline, seizing on a front-page story in the Washington Post noting that "[d]uring a routine vote yesterday morning, [Barack] Obama and [Hillary] Clinton brushed past each other on the Senate floor. Obama winked and touched Clinton on her elbow. Without pausing, she kept walking." No word on which eye he winked with, but I'm sure the press corps is working on it.