I find the idea of a press honeymoon very odd. The phenomenon is quite real. What I find odd, however, is what it says about reality.
Howard Kurtz takes a look at Sen. Bill Frist’s honeymoon as incoming Senate majority leader. According to Kurtz:
If ever a political figure was depicted by the press as able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, it is Bill Frist. Journalists are practically awestruck: He is a healer, a conciliator, a compassionate conservative who jets off to Africa to treat AIDS patients, a super-senator who tends to the stricken at roadside accidents. And, as a pilot, he literally flies.
Kurtz continues with the Superman metaphor by suggesting there is “Kryptonite hidden everywhere.” My question is this: Is Frist not the same Superman even if the hidden Kryptonite (e.g. slim majority) weakens him? The answer is: No, he’s not.
Politics is about process, outcome, and image. Frist is Superman now because, for the press, he demonstrates super potential. If he fails to live up to that potential, the attitude, along with reality, will change. There may be no capital ‘T’ truth in politics.