.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

the daily spew

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The mighty douchebag

There is perhaps nothing worse in the world than a Judas. The biggest difference between the biblical Judas and the modern one is that after taking his silver pieces and betraying what he believed in, he committed suicide. Our modern Judas goes out and writes books, appears on all the appropriate chat shows, does lectures and generally enriches himself.

Such is the case with David Brock. Once upon a time our modern Judas worked for the right wing starting out as a reporter for the Washington Times. With sweat and effort he worked his way up the right wing media machine and became one of its minor deities spewing forth all sorts of vitriol upon the general masses.

Then, in the 1990's, he developed a conscience. And with this new found conscience he went on to write his tearful apology to the liberal masses called "Blinded by the Right". After reading the tear soaked dust jacket of this wonderful masterpiece to the gods of the commie pinkos, I realized that the real Judas had the right idea. Today, over at the home of journalistic integrity Salon.com is an excerpt from the latest volume in Brock's quest to become a commie pinko guy kisser The Republican Noise Machine.

His premise is that the evil right wing boogerheaded media machine (and he knows all the boogerheads because he was one) is skewing the views of the average American to the right. David Brock's explanation is educational on why liberal power has waned and is below.

People ask me, a former insider, how the Republican Right has won political and ideological power with such seeming ease and why Democrats, despite winning the most votes in the last three presidential elections, seem to be caught in a downward spiral, still able to win at the ballot box but steadily losing the battle for hearts and minds.

While it is not the only answer, my answer is: It's the media, stupid.

When I say this, in a more respectful way, to folks outside the right wing, I usually get either of two responses. Those who receive their news from the New York Times and National Public Radio give me blank stares. They are living in a rarefied media culture -- one that prizes accuracy, fairness, and civility -- that is no longer representative of the media as a whole. Those who have heard snippets of Rush Limbaugh's radio show, have caught a glimpse of Bill O'Reilly's temper tantrums on the FOX News Channel, or occasionally peruse the editorials in the Wall Street Journal think I'm a Cassandra. They view this media as self-discrediting and therefore irrelevant. They are living in a vacuum of denial.

Those who understand what I mean are either members of the media itself, have read media-criticism books or Internet sites devoted to the subject, or are in the political trenches every day dealing with the media. The gap between those who recognize right-wing media power for what it is and those who don't is wide and deep, as if they inhabit parallel universes. The gap is dangerous to democracy and needs to be closed.

What is amazing is that objects of accurate and fair reporting, the The New York Times and National Public Radio are accurate and fair if and only if  the reader or listener is aware of their left wing bias  and takes measures to balance it out. Equally amazing is how he picks up on the trend of the right wing media to shout down their opponents and claim that there is a liberal media bias against them while they exclude all of the right wing media outlets from purview. When your contention is that there is conservative media bias that is threatening the foundations of our democracy and you are more than willing to exclude from two principal sources of liberal media, then your argument for bias no longer holds water.

While David Brock succeeds in faulting the media for the problems that our democratic (I never knew we lived in a democracy - guess I'll have to demand that my Congressman give back his paycheck - yeah, right ) society is facing, he misses the point entirely. The blame lies squarely at the feet of both the liberals and conservatives. Over the last twenty plus years both sides have worked to drive the news down to its least common denominator. What is once a respected and reasonably accurate source of information (American media in general) has become little better than the tabloids.

Is it any wonder why the foundations of our country are threatened?