Archive for the ‘Bias’ Category
Bill Maher, liberal, pretend libertarian and over all, failed comic, decides, finally, that the outrage over, well, everything, has finally all become too much. From his editorial in today’s New York Times:
When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?
This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!
The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.
If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.
Please stop apologizing, Maher implores.
Here’s how the right’s outrage machine got started Mr. Maher–just for your edification. (I will admit, I worried about this tactic for fear it would stop being ironic and become the New Right’s political correctness.)
See, for years, decades even, the Left’s number one weapon in its arsenal has been outrage over nothing. Let me make a list:
Silent Spring (Environmentalism outrage)
The new Ice Age (Environmentalism outrage)
Sensitivity training (racism, sexism, minority outrage)
Poisoned apples (Environmentalism outrage)
DDT (Environmentalism outrage)
Any kind of cultural joke…ever. (See isms above)
Words, and worse, ideas, started to be censured. Like the prohibitionist knitting circle of yore, leftists have cluck clucked their way into power by being the church ladies aggrieved at every blond joke, straying eye, proper use of word (niggardly!!!), scientific disagreement, and on and on.
In response, the right of center side decided to throw the selective outrage back at them.
There’s a lot of pent up fury. How would you feel about being hectored over every meaningless and stupid aside (MACACA!!!!).
So, conservatives through New Media, are holding the left to their own race-baiting, sexist, offensive-language standards.
Big surprise! The left turns out to be more racist, sexist, degrading, closed-minded, and ugly than the right–something that minorities who have defected from the left know all too well.
And now, when Bill Maher is finally taking some heat for being the sexist jackass that he is, he’s crying foul.
In the years before New Media, everyone just wink-winked and chortled at how edgy and clever and brave Maher was while castigating conservatives who said far less offensive things.
Restricting speech on one side was such a great tool. Everyone hated conservatives and laughed at liberals. And then they realized they were the butt of the joke.
Now, liberals are hated too.
Liberals have themselves to thank for this fine politically correct mess.
See, I’m a free speech absolutist. Do I think it’s despicable to make fun of Sarah Palin’s kid and calling him a “retard”? Yes. Do I want to be able to use the word “retard”? Yes.
As in, Bill Maher is a retard.
To have any credibility whatsoever, he should have been decrying the politically correct war on words from the left years ago, but of course, that didn’t serve his political ends.
My concern on the right is that we’re becoming as bad as the left–that is, we’re actually starting to believe the outrage we’re pouring at the left.
My concern is that rather than being outraged at the leftists phony outrage and throwing it back at them, we’re becoming as politically correct and insufferable as them.
As long as Sandra Flukes exist and screech about inequality over nothing, the right has every reason to thrown their hypocrisy back at them.
The minute, though, we buy into political correctness and start being just like the lefty church ladies we loathe, the whole battle has been lost.
Humor, art, science, technology can only thrive where new, outrageous and edgy words and ideas thrive.
Conformity of language is conformity of culture. Stasis.
Free speech. Cherish it.
It would be nice if Bill Maher could have found his outrage at outrage when the leftist outrage machine has survived on outrage fuel. But then, Bill Maher’s not a great mind or comedian. The irony is lost on him.
Bruce of The Conservatory notes what Maher really wants:
In essence, Maher wants to be able to say anything he wants and not have to apologize for it.
Please, do so. And don’t apologize. That is fine with me.
But … and you knew there had to be one … that doesn’t mean what you say is consequence free. You still get to pay the price for what you say.
That’s really what Maher wants to see go by the boards, make no mistake about it. He really wants no-penalty “free speech”.
Sorry, no such thing. Never has been, never will be.
Great piece from Dorian Davis: Get a sense of humor.
Imagine reading this in The Atlantic:
The Twitterverse is already taking notice of the “holy” pairing of last month’s sensation New York Knicks point guard Mohammed El Arabi with this afternoon’s sensation: New York Jets quarterback Abd Al-Ala Awwal. (We’re still getting used to typing that last one.) New York City’s professional sports won’t be lacking in the Qu’ran thumping department. As you may have already heard, the New York Jets have traded a fourth round pick to the Denver Broncos for Abd Al-Ala Awwal’s services. For now, the trade sort of puts a stop to the schadenfreude surrounding Abd Al-Ala Awwal and the Peyton Manning acquisition. So what now? Well jokes, of course. For some–the pairing of the very-Muslim, pro-life, Allah-loving Tebow and New York City might be bit odd. (However, we’re guessing there’s some cheering going on around the New York Post and Daily News sports desks). We won’t know how this will work out for the Jets until the fall. But with Allah, Mohammed El Arabi, and Abd Al-Ala Awwal on New York City’s side, who’s going to take the blame for next season’s losses?
Or better yet, this:
The Twitterverse is already taking notice of the “unholy” pairing of last month’s sensation New York Knicks point guard George Carlin with this afternoon’s sensation: New York Jets quarterback Christopher Hitchens. (We’re still getting used to typing that last one.) New York City’s professional sports won’t be lacking in the The God Delusion-thumping department. As you may have already heard, the New York Jets have traded a fourth round pick to the Denver Broncos for Hitchens’ services. For now, the trade sort of puts a stop to the schadenfreude surrounding Hitchens and the Peyton Manning acquisition. So what now? Well jokes, of course. For some–the pairing of the very-Atheist, abortion loving, God-hating Hitchens and New York City might be bit odd. (However, we’re guessing there’s some cheering going on around the New York Times and Wall Street Journal sports desks). We won’t know how this will work out for the Jets until the fall. But with biology, George Carlin, and Chris Hitchens on New York City’s side, who’s going to take the blame for next season’s losses?
And then read this:
The Twitterverse is already taking notice of the “holy” pairing of last month’s sensation New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin with this afternoon’s sensation: New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. (We’re still getting used to typing that last one.) New York City’s professional sports won’t be lacking in the bible-thumping department. As you may have already heard, the New York Jets have traded a fourth round pick to the Denver Broncos for Tebow’s services. For now, the trade sort of puts a stop to the schadenfreude surrounding Tebow and the Peyton Manning acquisition. So what now? Well jokes, of course. For some–the pairing of the very-Christian, pro-life, God-loving Tebow and New York City might be bit odd. (However, we’re guessing there’s some cheering going on around the New York Post and Daily News sports desks). We won’t know how this will work out for the Jets until the fall. But with God, Jeremy Lin, and Tim Tebow on New York City’s side, who’s going to take the blame for next season’s losses?
The aforementioned was actually written.
God-hating. Christian-despising. American-loathing.
Our modern media is very out of touch with America.
Nevertheless, in the wake of the furor over Limbaugh’s denunciation of Georgetown law-school student Sandra Fluke last month, Sileo’s firing suggests to many that something has changed about the sensitivities of talk-radio stations. A medium built on pushing the limits of acceptable speech appears, once again, to be reassessing just where those limits are.
The Washington Post singles out talk radio and can’t seem to find one above-the-fold example of leftwing inflammatory rhetoric.
And after all that, we have this nifty campaign against free speech — not a campaign against child porn, or schools failing the most underprivileged or the rank sexualization of children on shows like Toddlers and Tiaras — nope. Media Matters and its army of robots fuel calls against a talk show host who differs with them ideologically.
For one thing, the Limbaugh flap has demonstrated anew how individuals and interest groups, such as the liberal Media Matters for America, can gin up and sustain outrage via social media (in Limbaugh’s case, President Obama’s consoling phone call to Fluke probably helped fan public revulsion, too). The group waged a sustained campaign targeting Glenn Beck’s advertisers that drove many off Beck’s highly rated Fox News program and ultimately ended Beck’s association with the cable network. Similar campaigns drove Don Imus and Dr. Laura Schlessinger from the air after they made inflammatory comments.
For another, some see the radio industry as uniquely vulnerable to sustained pressure. A long period of consolidation has left industry giants such as Clear Channel with a vast portfolio of stations but also deeply in debt, making them extra sensitive to anything that might disrupt their revenue (for the record, Premiere has issued a statement generally supportive of Limbaugh).
These thought police and their drones wage campaigns against conservatives and conservatives are still largely silent in the face of it.
How does MSNBC still get advertisers–besides government grants to General Electric, that is. But that question won’t be asked at the Washington Post.
Bias. It’s everywhere. It’s not even often what’s said, it’s what’s left out. The Washington Post skews again.
There shouldn’t be any surprise videos about Obama, should there be? Do you find it stunning that there’s more out there about Obama?
The press no longer functions independently. It is wholly co-opted by the Democrats. Americans don’t really want to believe this yet, but Breitbart bringing out videos four years after Obama is president demonstrates how corrosive and complete is the press-Democrat collusion.
Imagine being afraid you’ll lose your job because you believe the people to blame for 9/11 are the Islamofascists who plotted it. That’s what one Hollywood writer, Daniel Knauf endured. Here’s what he said:
Toadies in the MSM assert that there is no Blacklist in Hollywood.
And they’re right.
It’s not necessary because Hollywood is a very, very small, very, very ruthless town, where a few key words spoken in the right ears can absolutely wreck a career–code-words like “difficult,” “high-maintenance” and “uneven.” When you can obliterate a fellow professional with a few well-chosen phrases, why maintain something as crude and inelegant as a Blacklist?
How dare anyone even suggest that there’s a Blacklist against conservative artists and performers?
Blacklists are for mouth-breathers.
Blacklists are for knuckle-draggers.
Blacklists are so… so… Republican.
And so I kept my mouth shut. And a funny thing happened: The longer I was forced to withhold my opinions and beliefs, the brighter they burned in me. Funny. Oppression has a way of doing that to the oppressed.
Ask any Soviet defector…
For years, I bit my tongue, nodding and making non-committal sounds while listening to the most virulently noxious Leftist spew imaginable: Explicit rape-murder fantasies directed toward Palin, Coulter, Malkin and Ingraham; blithely expressed wishes of cancer, assassination and mutilation of Bush, Cheney and Limbaugh; the snide denigration of “civilians” (i.e. anyone not in the entertainment business) in the “flyover states” (i.e. everywhere except New York and east of the Golden State Freeway–Pasadena, for instance is a “flyover state”); and, of course, the endless venomous, profanity-laced screes against the Tea Party.
Even more shocking was the rampant hypocrisy, the endemic corruption, the casual thievery–from producers ordering custom built doors and windows for their homes from the construction department, to having their Beemers and Benzos topped daily with gas by Transpo. All on the studio dime.
Meanwhile, any actress or female writer can tell you that the Casting Couch is alive and well in contemporary Hollywood. And it’s absolutely fascinating just how many male producers and execs time their set-visits to coincide with nude-scenes…
And forget about “diversity.”
Please, go read the whole thing.
Hollywood and the Left use their political correctness–sexism, racism, environmentalism–as a sword and a shield. They would skewer Rush Limbaugh, destroy him, and happily do it while their own side commits grievous insults of the worst, most virulent kind. More here.
They do it so people will be afraid and so people will shut up.
And many in Hollywood are afraid and have stayed quiet. Who wouldn’t be afraid of being Black Listed? Andrew Breitbart gave them courage and a voice.
Across this fruited plain, there are all sorts of folks either too cowed or too weary to take on the liberals.
The folks in Hollywood have to endure the leftist mentality in the surreal insanity of an utterly narcissistic culture. They need help. They need an army of Breitbarts.
So what are conservatives doing to help the Hollywood types?
Are we supporting Gary Sinise’s charities?
Are we signing up for Daniel Knaup’s new production? Sign up here. (Just need an email.)
Are we supporting Patricia Heaton, off of Twitter right now, as she bravely stands for what’s right?
Are we downloading the Children’s app [full disclosure: I am helping promote the app — business sent to me via Andrew Breitbart, by the way]: CherryTree? It’s for children. It’s safe. It’s free. And it’s being developed by Hollywood conservatives Dan Kessler and Allen Covert. These men, by the way, are wonderful. I had the joy and honor of walking around CPAC as these two Hollywood men, locked in liberal land, received hugs from adoring conservative fans.
If Andrew showed us anything, he demonstrated an absolute faith in the conservative movement–from conservative moms doing Tea Parties fearing for friendships to Hollywood actors fearing for livelihoods.
We need to do better helping each other, building each other’s businesses, hiring each other, buying each other’s products and promoting the work of dedicated conservatives–some risking everything.
Andrew Breitbart lit up a room. Out at Western CPAC in Southern California a couple years ago, his star was rising, and he gave an interview. I asked him what he was doing; as in, how do you see your role?
He told us that he saw himself as a “merry mischief maker”. He wanted to turn the media upside down. He wanted to destroy them.
Andrew succeeded. He created the most surreal media moment ever: He ended up speaking at Anthony Weiner’s late and ill-fated press conference. He was at once the press and the news. It was a seminal moment. It was the moment I felt that Andrew had achieved his ends.
Everything had changed. The New Media was rising.
The grief-making part of it? He’d just really started. So much work to do. So much vitality.
In the spring of last year, Andrew called me and asked if I’d help him promote his book Righteous Indignation. He overnighted a review copy. In a day, I read it cover to cover.
If you haven’t read Andrew’s book, you really must. Not only is he a great story teller and beautiful writer, and he is, he also gives great hope through his own story. His biography shows a man, who like most Americans, didn’t pay attention and how he “woke up”.
And boy, did he wake up. He was the righteous, pointed finger in the chest of the empty and sanctimonious left. He had their number and they knew it.
As I sit here crying, I fear looking at Twitter for seeing all the nastiness and venom that will spill forth about Andrew from the left. He was hated because he was effective. They hated his persona. They hated his gumption. They hated him. [Updated: Do they ever.]
Knowing Andrew–knowing his sweet nature, knowing his kindness, knowing his generosity–I would just marvel at the contrast between what the left caricatured him as being with who he really was.
You know that carousing guy? That guy who skates on the edge or goes over it? The guy who cheats on his wife while out of town or likes to give the impression of being a player?
That wasn’t Andrew. Ever.
Andrew was devoted. He was a true family man. He chortled about people implying that he was gay as his domestic life with his wife and four kids was so tranquil and happy. He liked that someone viewed him as edgy.
At one small gathering, I found Andrew walking aimlessly around the hotel lobby with his iPad. I asked him what he was doing. Well, he couldn’t find anyone and was waiting for people to show up–for three hours. When it was suggested that he could have called one of us, he responded, “I’m not very good without my wife or Larry.”
Scattered, brimming with ideas, mulish, and hell-bent, Andrew could be a handful. His best friend Larry Solov is as sweet, calm, and circumspect as Andrew is bombastic, frenetic and bold. Larry helped Andrew succeed in so many ways. When it came to the business of Andrew Breitbart, Andrew and Larry were two parts of a whole.
Andrew was so full of life, it is almost impossible to fathom the emptiness that will be felt by those close to him. I feel it and I didn’t interact with Andrew every day.
I worried for Andrew. Before CPAC this year, there had been threats made on his life. Andrew was symbolic for the left and his death would be a triumph. And yet Andrew didn’t seem concerned at all. He just plowed on and engaged.
He gave his phone number to anyone. He would talk to anyone. He was not a respecter of persons.
I wish he was still here. There’s too much work to do. Who will do it? Who will do it like Andrew?
Someone will have to do the work, but no one will do it like Andrew.
Andrew Breitbart. Happy Warrior. Devoted husband and father. Generous friend and co-worker. Merry mischief maker.
I miss him already.
Matt LaBash: By way of greeting, I used to ask Breitbart what kind of evil he was up to. “Most kinds,” he’d say, gamely.
Andrew’s speech at CPAC:
Andrew’s last tweet:
— AndrewBreitbart (@AndrewBreitbart) March 1, 2012
I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.I’ve never known someone, perhaps with the exception of Drudge himself, who had more of a savant’s sense of media, old and new — but especially new. In the early days of the Drudge Report there was a lot of talk about how Drudge made the news, and that was often true. But he could only do that by understanding the news and how it worked at a visceral instinctive level. Matt saw this same gift in Andrew, which is why he hired him. The two of them changed the course of the massive river of news for literally billions of people. That’s no exaggeration, even venerable enterprises and institutions that despised the Drudge Report and pretended it didn’t exist had to change course because of it.
Matt Drudge says this:
“DEAR READER: In the first decade of the DRUDGEREPORT Andrew Breitbart was a constant source of energy, passion and commitment. We shared a love of headlines, a love of the news, an excitement about what’s happening. I don’t think there was a single day during that time when we did not flash each other or laugh with each other, or challenge each other. I still see him in my mind’s eye in Venice Beach, the sunny day I met him. He was in his mid 20’s. It was all there. He had a wonderful, loving family and we all feel great sadness for them today… MDRUDGE”
Roger Simon: “When a whirlwind dies, there is a sudden quiet.”
William Jacobson: “Andrew is irreplaceable, but we would serve his memory well to aspire to more freedom of thought and more freedom of action.”
Uncut podcast at Liberty Pundits with Clyde Middleton and Andrew Breitbart.
Ace who drubs David Frum aka The Rat.
Felicia Craven: Andrew Breitbart was our William Wallace.
Andrew Malcolm: So?
Mitt’s followers are really sick of the competition. The stakes are so high, time to come together on the inspiring Mitt banner. He’s nearly flawless. Better than that, he’s awesome. Also, he’s all that we have.
All the remaining candidates, including Romney, are flawed and would be nearly fatally so if they weren’t running against such a weak president.
Times have changed. A big government Republican is not what most of the GOP, or country, want, but that’s what is before them.
None of these guys are much likable. None are trustworthy in the ways of trimming the fat of the government.
Barack Obama isn’t trustworthy about cutting government but he is likable. We may not like him, but most of America still does or really wants to.
The argument that Mitt Romney is the only guy, the smartest guy, the electable guy gets wearying in the face of clear evidence that he’s imperfect and runs a kinda nasty campaign all while expecting kid-glove treatment by others. In addition, his core is so middle of the road, people don’t trust that he will do anything he says he will.
An independent, fiscally conservative friend in Michigan shared this with me after I asked who got their vote:
I did not vote. I was contemplating it on the way home and decided against it.
I had determined I would have to vote for Romney since Santorum still elicits no confidence from me. The thought of it disgusted me so much that I chose to not vote.
Primary voting has been rather suppressed everywhere. If it weren’t for the Democrats in Michigan, would turnout have been lower?
In a disastrous Obama administration, it’s difficult to fathom that people on the right are so completely disheartened.
Still, they feel about Mitt Romney the way they felt about Health Care Reform: He’s being rammed down their throats.
It makes people a little less forgiving when the Super McAwesome Candidate flubs a stupid question by a stupid reporter. Like Josh Trevino says, “The real problem with this Blunt/Romney thing is that it was eminently plausible as first reported.”
Also, Britt Hulme gets to the heart of it:
@ByronYork I thought Romney skipped past the question, to seize a chance to stick it to Santorum on contraception. Not a considered answer.
— Brit Hume (@Kimsfirst) March 1, 2012
It’s that eagerness to jam Santorum and the absolute insistence by Mitt’s followers that he’s the nicest and smartest and most electable guy in the field, left that makes folks dig in their heels. If Mitt were such a stellar candidate and seemed so nice and electable, people would forgive the foibles. The problem is that he doesn’t.
Obama is so awful that a GOP turnip would get most of the bases’ vote but it’s naive to believe that folks like my independent friend will make the effort to do so. They’ll just stay home because “they all suck”.
Will the not-Mitt crowd submit? Some might. I’m afraid this acrimonious primary will make it difficult for everyone to fall in line this time.
Or maybe there’s substance, I just simply don’t believe these people. At all. Even a little bit.
Ron Paul, resident curmudgeon and Fief to a little hamlet in a corner of Texas, sat at last night’s debate like Ebenezer Scrooge:
Ebenezer: [Giggling] No. Mrs. Dilber – I’m not mad.
[He ruffles his hair so that it looks wild]
Ebenezer: Even if I look it!
When I’m nodding along with Ebenezer and chortling at the candidates making all sorts of small government promises and not believing them, I’m pretty sure all is lost.
I just want them all to shut up, already. Even when I agree with them: Please, just SHUT UP.
This is precisely the goal for the media, I’m guessing. Elevate Republicans so insufferable even the snoozer Obama sounds reasonable and interesting in comparison.
No. I still don’t like Mitt.
Rick Santorum pointed out that RomneyCare was the basis for ObamaCare. This is simply fact. Romney’s response?
And let me — let me — let me mention one more — the reason we have Obama Care — the reason we have Obama Care is because the Senator you supported over Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, the pro- choice Senator of Pennsylvania that you supported and endorsed in a race over Pat Toomey, he voted for Obama Care. If you had not supported him, if we had said, no to Arlen Specter, we would not have Obama Care. So don’t look at me. Take a look in the mirror.
Wait, what? How about we blame Specter’s parents. I mean, if they hadn’t had him, he wouldn’t have grown up to be a lousy Senator.
Heh. I suggest we blame Satan. Without Satan, Arlen Specter wouldn’t have had evil impulses.
Republican money, leadership, important people, how come you can’t see the obvious weakness?
And the fact that ANY candidate looks weak in the face of Obama just demonstrates how idiotic it is to play along with the media and these stupid debates.
Shooting ourselves in the foot over and over.
Being a Republican is like being a Lions fan. Except less hopeful.
More bad news. Even Ace’s … oh never mind.
Ben’s Transom newsletter was particularly good today and he saved the best for last. It’s so important I’m sharing it here.
Here’s the nutshell: The Left-leaning journalism investigates the right. The Right-leaning journalism provides commentary and (and Ben doesn’t say this, but I am) when they do rarely investigate, investigates the right after being given oppo research by someone on their own side.
The right is resource-deprived and lazy with the resources they do have.
Here’s what Ben says [subscribe here]:
RISE OF THE CONSERVATIVE THUMBSUCKER CLASS:
David Freddoso isn’t wholly wrong here, but I think his career is instructive in the real failings of conservative journalists. http://vlt.tc/cu Freddoso is one of a number of solid shoe-leather investigative journalists with a conservative bent – he’s now at the Examiner as an opinion page editor. Phil Klein was the same – now he’s an opinion columnist at the Examiner. So was Tim Carney – same deal. The general trend among conservatives is to ditch the investigative thing and move into what we might call Novak-lite opinion writing; they talk to sources and cover events but rarely break news. They take the second or third bite out of something, not the first. And they generally leave it to Gawker to file the FOIA requests. http://vlt.tc/da
There’s a whole class of people in DC who live this trend, wasting writing talent on minor league punditry which ought to be applied to keeping politicians accountable and rooting out scandals on the other side. Instead of offsetting in some small way the overwhelming advantage the left has among investigative journos, the sights of these writers are nearly always trained on their own party (Carney, for example, criticizes both sides, but much of his aim is at remaking the right into a less big business friendly entity). At the same time, the big publications on the right have gravitated toward three kinds of stories: the thumb-sucking or humorous rehash of what’s in the news; the big think-piece commentary about some social or political meme; or the throw-off profile of a friendly Republican politician. The effect is that these publications have little or no impact on the left or the broader conversation – their influence is limited to the right and stays there.
This trend is a real shame, and it’s one of the reasons that story-breaking on the right about the left has been almost entirely conceded to the amateur or semi-pro class online. The biggest story of the year on the right is Solyndra – a story broken by ABC News. The second biggest story of the year on the right is Fast & Furious, which is now resulting in Congressional investigations and calls for Eric Holder’s resignation – it’s a story broken by CBS News. In a just world, these stories would’ve been broken first on the cover of a major conservative publication. But that hasn’t been true since, well, the days of David Brock.
At the Redstate confab in South Carolina (this was pre-Solyndra) I pointed out onstage that Obama’s administration had been to that point remarkably scandal free. I pointed out that scandal had followed the Chicago team for decades, and that we’d learn about the scandals eventually, but likely only after everyone was out of office. This is an indictment for every journalist on the right who has the capability to investigate but spends their time on opinion writing instead. It’s no longer debatable: Andrew Breitbart has done more for the cause of conservative investigative coverage than any of the right-leaning outlets under Obama (Schweizer works . And that’s something the DC-NY conservative professional thumb-suckers should be ashamed of.
As for Freddoso – who’s no more than an acquaintance, but again I genuinely like his work – yesterday is a bad day for him to be throwing this stone. He spent a good hour on Twitter deriding Rick Perry for calling Sam Brownback “John” at an event based on a Twitter report from a Bloomberg journo, a report which turned out to be completely false – Perry was referring to John Archer, a candidate for Congress who was in attendance at the government reform event. http://vlt.tc/cv It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that –but the point is that the Examiner doesn’t have anyone covering that event to correct him, and neither do any of the right-leaning outlets. It’s a different problem from the lack of investigative-focused stuff, but it illustrates the same truth. Writers on the right mostly don’t do journalism; they do play-by-play.
So much of the investigative work is being done by bloggers and they are under-funded and often over-worked.
One thing Ben doesn’t mention is how the right-leaning DC journos don’t want to be hated. They hang out with other journalists and want to be included. The social pressure in DC is liberal. Always.
Journalists are people (most of them). They want to be liked, included and respected. The way to be a skunk at a garden party is to criticize Democrats or investigate them.
Note also: bloggers and commentary from outside DC tends to be a lot more strident, and, I’d like to add, truthful. That social pressure isn’t there. It’s difficult to write about friends.
Conservative bloggers outside of the Beltway have been hopping mad at Jennifer Rubin, ostensible conservative journalist (née blogger), for what they perceive as shameless bias against conservatives and conservatism.
Politico wrote a story about her obsessive anti-Rick Perry writing (60 columns!) and apparent coziness with the Romney team.
When Redstate blogger and CNN commentator Erick Erickson noted that he didn’t think Rubin was conservative and likened her political bent to being a member of Likud, the Israeli political party, Rubinfired back:
“You want a Washington Post journalist to comment on an anti-Semitic screed by some blogger?” Rubin asked. “My arms are not long enough to punch down that far.”
This response was giggle-worthy —for a couple of reasons. The smug self-importance while throwing the victim card while, um, punching down, reinforced criticisms rather than countering them.
Erickson went on to apologize for insensitivity, saying he intended the Likud comparison as political shorthand for Rubin’s positions (meaning that she’s good on national security and terror but not much else), not as loyalty to Israel over America.
Jeff Duntz, conservative Jewish blogger at Yid With A Lid would have none of it, “Erick is not the most subtle person around. If he were to make a charge of dual loyalty, the reader would be hit over the head with it.”
He goes further, “..maybe to the readers of the very liberal Washington Post she is a conservative, but to the rest of us conservatives she is nothing more than an arrogant ‘not conservative blogger’ who is not a big fan of either conservatives or bloggers.”
And yet, many of her beltway conservative media friends closed ranks. The defense? They know her. She’s nice.
And while it’s probably true that she’s a nice person, it doesn’t quite address the central criticism: that she’s biased against the conservative cause.
But more on that in a minute.
Last night, a fuming friend presented me a hastily torn out Letter from the Editor from G.Q. Magazine. The editor, Jim Nelson, a former CNN news producer and failed screenwriter vented his overworked spleen against…you guessed it, Rick Perry.
His paragraphs were long and convoluted–the kind of writing you’d expect from someone who has trouble finding the keyboard keys because the anger-induced adrenalin surge would be better suited to outrunning a bear. In this case, Jim Nelson was afraid he couldn’t outrun alpha-male Rick Perry. He’s the bogeyman and he’s coming to get meeee! Here’s a sample:
But I imagine that, come primary time, a lot of GOP voters, hoping to extend a middle finger to Washington, will find that fat little finger in Perry’s hand. Is he crazy? Who isn’t these days? Those throw-the-bums-outers will love Perry’s brand of craziness. He’s like Ron Paul without the diapers.
There’s more where that came from. Michele Bachmann isn’t spared, nor is nearly every mainstream American, forget conservative, idea: Boy Scouting is good, repealing Obamacare is wanted, the Commerce Clause is abused, etc.
Nelson edits a male fashion and lifestyle magazine, and has decided to go down the Graydon Carter road of mistaking his audience for people who care about his leftist opinion about the Republican primary contenders. Here’s the demographics:
TOTAL AUDIENCE: 6,612,000
Median Age: 34.3
Age 18-49: 82%
Median HHI: $72,738
HHI $100,000+: 31%
Gender: Male 73%/Female 27%
Education: Attended/Graduated College+ 70%
Employment Status: Professional 50%
Marital Status: Single 63%/Married 37%
Source: MRI Spring 2011
PROFILE OF AFFLUENT AUDIENCE:
Median Age: 39.9
Median HHI: $157,606
Gender: Male 82%/Female 18%
Education: Attended/Graduated College+ 83%
Employment Status: Professional 70%
Marital Status: Single 38%/Married 62%
Source: MMR 2011
Any guess how this demographic votes? Yeah. It’s no wonder print media of all sorts is losing readership. If the fury I witnessed is any indication, the magazine has lost another subscriber.
Jennifer Rubin writes for the Washington Post. She replaced Dave Weigel, the self-admitted non-conservative who voted for Nader, Kerry, and Obama, in that order. Before going to the WaPo, Jennifer wrote many places but found one of her homes at Pajamas Media, where I also wrote, and sometimes write. Her writing there was fair, and more importantly, balanced.
Conservatives who read her work now wonder why a conservative writer at the WaPo is needed at all—at least a conservative like this one. Far from being a haven of conservative thought, Rubin’s columns are informed by the same fundamental worldview as her liberal compatriots at the newspaper, like Greg Sargent and Ezra Klein—the same worldview which permeates the pages of the Post every day. Call it the “big city mayor” approach to government—or even the Big Brother approach.
To summarize: Government is a benevolent force, lead by intelligent people who will find solutions for the folks who don’t know better.
Unabashedly conservative politicians—particularly those who come from rural, southern, or western backgrounds—provoke panic for people with this worldview.
Whenever pundits like Jim Nelson or Jennifer Rubin start to lose it over the rugged individualistic, common sense, rather straight-forward, red-white-and-blue American ethic espoused by someone like Rick Perry, the movie Talladega Nights comes to my mind. Nearly every stereotype of the middle American bumpkin was thrown into that movie. And yet, the movie was a smash hit. Middle Americans, as it turns out, have a sense of humor about themselves.
What Hollywood meant as scorn, the viewers embraced. The jokes on them, smirk those in the know. If numbers mean anything, and in electoral politics and movie theaters, they do, the exact opposite is true.
Unlike the media consumers, members of the Smartypants Set™ most certainly do not have a sense of humor–unless you consider unironic allusions to being the 1% like New York University professor Jay Rosen made while being taped during his journalism class humor. Well. He thought he was funny.
Sensibility saviors and cultural vanguards take their role as gatekeepers for the ignorant masses deadly seriously. And a guy like Rick Perry and all the state-college-educated, gun-toting, Air Force-flying, Bible-loving, NASCAR watching, baseness sticks in the craw of the Smartypants Set™.
They are, as candidate Obama noted, “bitter clingers.” They just won’t let go of their cherished American traditions.
The common people, “provincial” as Jennifer Rubin described Perry, embarrass them. In the end, it’s all about how they feel. And being lead by a commoner, even a highly successful one, does not suit.
So, Jim Nelson has Barack Obama—suave, urbane and best of all, he knows how to wear a suit. And Jennifer Rubin has Mitt Romney—suave, urbane, and best of all, he knows how to wear a suit.
It doesn’t matter if the suit is empty or the suit isn’t conservative. The point is, these people don’t make the cultural elites uncomfortable. They are their people. They speak a language that resonates with news editors and commentators and even Washington Post
Increasingly, and regretfully, it’s a language not spoken anywhere but in the cloisters of Higher Ed and newsrooms and Hollywood and worst of all, Congress. It’s uniform, uninformed and anything but inclusive. There’s little diversity of thought, if any, and the unifying theme is “We know better than you.”
The tenor of the language is getting increasingly shrill and hysterical.
Jim Nelson’s screed was ill-thought out and tinged with paranoia.
Jennifer Rubin’s repeated bashing has become strangely personal. In her case, the willingness to print every spurious rumor as fact as long as it maligns Rick Perry (while ignoring nearly every other Republican candidate) is neither very objective nor very journalistic–well, not in the romantic journalist-as-objective-reporter nonsense she ascribes to.
Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky New York University journalism professors, and in Shirky’s case, a consultant to the New York Times spoke of how the New York Times created Barack Obama. Together they gloated and spoke of Chardonnay and shaping the news to diminish conservatives and elevate liberals.
Here’s the real takeaway: The media is neither objective nor in touch with the culture they seek to shape. They, like Obama, believe America, and especially conservative America, is fundamentally flawed. They don’t see a distinction between your average evangelical churchgoer and a snake-handler. They seek to poison the well for any politician or person espousing conservative ideology even in the face of the abject failure of their own.
This worldview is detached, egotistic and condescending. And as long as people who ascribe to it are allowed to dictate who is an acceptable leader and who isn’t, we’ll always end up with empty suits.