the sage words…

of mr. joe crump. future rockstar columnist. couldn’t agree with him more.
reposted from his blog:

querulous conservatism

In 1962, after losing the California gubernatorial contest, Richard Nixon despairingly remarked to reporters (I like to imagine it with violin accompaniment), “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” Perhaps you are pondering- why would the press be so wicked and cruel as to “kick around” the Republican candidate running for Governor of California? If you are fortunate enough to own a radio, then you might tune into the Sean Hannity Show (or any other conservative talk radio) to satisfy your inquiry. Sean’s answer is simply that “the press” or “the media” disproportionately targets Republicans because, being entirely comprised of liberals, it is invested in America’s defeat. This line of reasoning is, of course, utter balderdash. That conservatives found the need to establish a right-leaning Wikopedia and Youtube, since the general public is now thought to have a liberal bias, is laughable. Nowadays, one thing that definitively characterizes the right, at least for the most part, is its Nixonian paranoia and antipathy regarding the news media.

True, the left controls most of the newspapers. And, the left will always have a monopoly on the arts- actors, comedians, musicians, and Kanye West. But I think we can all agree that the overwhelming majority of Americans get their news from that wondrous box of meretricious infotainment, where FOXnews reigns supreme. I would be remiss if I failed to mention talk radio, lest they should scream even louder in order to be noticed, where the right dwarfs the left. There are also conservative publications like the National Review, the Weekly Standard, Human Events, etc. In other words, the right has its own prodigious and formidable news media that is, for all intents and purposes, an endless fusillade aimed at the Democratic Party. Respectfully, it might behoove Mr. Hannity’s constituency, before they decry the “omnipresent” and “inescapable” liberal media, to consider the innumerable avenues of thought controlled by Rupert Murdoch, not the least of which is FOXnews- “Real journalism: fair and balanced. That’s why we’re No. 1 — FOX News Channel.” But does anyone really doubt that it leans to the right? It is also worth noting that, if FOXnews is, in fact, “No. 1”, then they must be the “mainstream media” that the Hannitites bemoan so incessantly. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the word mainstream means: “a prevailing current or direction of activity or influence.” Thus if FOXnews is the most watched news network, as its punditry often asserts, it is also “mainstream.” Hannitites are kidding themselves if they think that their champion and his cohorts have aptly labeled themselves the “new” or “alternative” media. It is also more than a little remarkable that Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly can complain about the ubiquity of the liberal media and then, in the same sentence, boast their own exorbitant ratings. Let us hope that I don’t need to explain why that is absurd.

I wish to stress that it is not the bias that I find irksome, it’s the whining. Isn’t it possible to be anti-gay marriage, anti-evolution, pro-life, pro-guns, pro-tax cuts, pro-Nascar, pro-small gov’t, pro-death penalty, and pro-torture without being so querulous? Stop calling the media “liberal” or “elite” and start calling it what it is, indolent and sensationalistic. To the media en masse, Paris Hilton’s profligate behavior is more newsworthy than 9/11 and all the right can do is whine about how they are out to destroy George W. Bush (as O’Reilly asserted in between his softball questions to Mr. Bush in a recent interview). Other than Bush’s plan to privatize social security, has the liberal media stopped the Bush administration in any shape or form? Was the liberal media able to preclude the invasion of Iraq or Bush’s re-election? No, but the conservative media has been a little more efficacious (i.e. immigration, Harriet Myers).

There are, of course, conservative intellectuals that choose not to blame the messenger. Incidentally, this is one of many distinguishing features that set George F. Will and David Brooks apart from Michael Reagan and Sean Hannity. This immeasurably small portion of the conservative mansion is acutely aware that we do not live in Russia and that everyone, ranging in ideology from the far left to the far right, is free to exercise astonishingly poor judgment when choosing their sources of info. The misinformed dolts on the left are free to imbibe and parrot Rosie O’Donnel’s inane blather just as their counterparts on the right are free to trust Mr. Hannity. Many of you make it sound as if you are forced to read the NYTimes and watch CNN everyday when, in truth, you rely exclusively upon Rush Limbaugh’s partisan interpretation.

If it’s objectivity you seek, I have some discouraging news: Everyone is biased. “Fair and Balanced” is a trite and meaningless phrase that is, what Charles Dickens might consider to be, a “pretense of equity” (Bleak House). The only thing you can do to get both sides of the story is diversify your news sources by venturing outside of your comfort zone- an intellectual calisthenics, if you will. If you are a liberal, read George Will. If you are a conservative, read Frank Rich, or just read for God’s sake. The problem today, and the left is equally guilty of this, is that many of us don’t actively seek out opposing arguments or points of view. That most conservatives watch only FOXnews and most liberals read only the NYTimes, is truly lamentable. If we’re to deal with the challenges we face as a nation, we cannot remain so firmly entrenched in our respective partisan ideologies.

True, there is a liberal media, and a big one at that. But are we supposed to blame liberals for getting jobs in the media and, come to think of it, in academia? Perhaps you should instead blame your fellow conservatives for pursuing career paths apart from the former and the latter. And while you’re at it, go ahead and blame them (and yourself) for their monolithic support of Bush in 2004. His presidency will inexorably result in liberal control of more than just Congress. Undoubtedly, many of you have, by now, considered the looming spectre of a Hillary presidency; to say nothing of the “pinkos” she’s likely to nominate to the Supreme Court. Then you’ll really have something to cry about.
JCCrump 7-10-07

~ by ladamesansregrets on November 29, 2007.

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