If you ever spend any time in the Left-O-Sphere (Daily Kos, Huffington Post, The Nation, Democrat Underground, et. al.), a common theme about the media appears over and over again. In the Left’s view, the American press is not a bastion of liberalism. Instead, progressives take the view that because the mainstream media is controlled by corporations, the media must actually be a right-wing tool allied to big business interests.
Forget that major corporations like British Petroleum and General Electric have allied themselves with President Obama’s big government environmental agenda. Disregard the fact that supposedly free-market companies often ally with government to squash smaller competitors. Shunt those things to the side for a little while.
Let’s look at the journalists themselves. Who do they support? What agendas do they follow? What stories do they report and how do they report them?
To figure that out, you’ve got to check out Jonathan Strong’s bombshell Daily Caller piece on JournoList’s handling of the Jeremiah Wright fiasco.
The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”
Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged.
First of all, if the media is not in fact left-wing, why did these journalists go into spittle-spraying rage at George Stephanopoulos’ questions? If the press is a right-wing mouthpiece, why all the anger over Candidate Obambi getting a few tough questions?
Anyway, JournoList wasn’t just going to sit there and let their champion/dreamy man-crush take a potentially fatal hit without a fight.
…Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
…Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”
…Tomasky continued. “We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease.”
Look at the language Tomasky chooses. “…Throw chairs now…”? These are not the measured words of a calm man. These are the sentiments of a dude who is scared shitless that a scandal will effectively kill his preferred liberal candidate’s electoral chances.
Better still: Questions directed to Barack Obama about Jeremiah Wright were ‘a disease’. Huh. Well, JournoListers-what’s the cure for St. Barry’s ailment?
[Spencer Ackerman]I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.
A couple things here. Spencer Ackerman is not just a weasely Stalinist cockface. He also very strongly identifies himself as a member in good standing of the American Left. He is definitely against what he sees as the conservative movement. Ackerman is an educated man, so surely he understands the difference between Left and Right. He has at least some idea what it means to be liberal and conservative. Why don’t we take him at his word when he self-identifies as a progressive?
Furthermore, here we see the groundwork laid for the last two years of MSM criticism of the GOP, the Right and the Tea Parties in particular. Ackerman lays it all out there in glorious detail: Pick a right-of-center target, then charge them with racism until they and the rest of the conservatives shut the fuck up about Obama.
It’s ideological intimidation in it’s most blunt application. Moreover, Ackerman is hoping that the Right rises to the racism bait so that conservatives lose focus and become ineffective. This in turn will make it easier for Obama to turn around the argument and throw it back at his critics. As Matt over at the great Conservative Hideout reminds us, conservatives that constantly respond to these specious charges are playing right into the Left’s plans.
Why should we ignore the racism accusations? Because Ackerman has given the game away. The charge of bigotry against conservatives is not meant to clarify but obfuscate. Ackerman admits that they simply need to pick out a Rightie target and slime him or her with the racial hate smear. That means that there was never any racism there to begin with.
Furthermore, when the JournoListers weren’t trying to kill the critics with false charges, they were talking about pretending the Jeremiah Wright story simply didn’t exist.
Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to “particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the list.
…Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. “All this hand wringing about just
how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle going.”
Ignore the ‘problem/story’ and hope it all goes away in the wash. I don’t think I need to remind anybody that these are reporters we’re talking about here. The job description of a journalist is to report about current events. Jeremiah Wright…whether anybody on the Left wanted to admit…was a man and a story the American people were interested in hearing about. Instead of reporting on it, here we have a journalist advocating that his fellow reporter colleagues bury it.
Funny. The media wonders why they are hemorrhaging viewers and readers. Then they turn around and discuss actively ignoring current stories. The MSM is in need of many things, but first and foremost might be some new self-awareness software.
Ideologically speaking, the JournoList reaction to Jeremiah Wright should (but probably won’t) finally explode left-wing meme that the mainstream media is a conservative bastion. JournoList sprang to the defense of Barack Obama as soon as it looked like he was in trouble. Now Obama has not been a perfect liberal; he’s had to backtrack on some terrorism issues and foreign policy campaign promises. But on the big domestic policy issues…industrial policy, cap and trade and health care reform…Obama has advocated for and often succeeded in moving the US government far to the left of where it was just two years ago. More importantly, the President has laid the foundations for a potentially permanent social-welfare state that controls vast swaths of the once-private economy.
If JournoList and the MSM in general wasn’t leftist, why would they have gone to the lengths they did to protect St. Bamster from the fallout from Jeremiah Wright? If JournoList and the MSM behaved like the Left insists they should’ve, reporters and opinion writers should’ve been devising ways to have Jeremiah Wright blow up in uber-liberal Obama’s face. They would’ve been discussing ways to push the story to forefront, not burying it. They would’ve been defending conservatives against charges of bigotry, not inventing them out of thin air.
Liberals need to get out of dream land. The MSM is as left-wing as anybody else within the progressive movement. Instead of denying, they should own up to it. They should be embracing their favored status at the media’s kool kid lunch table. The JournoList scandal proves the lamestream media is nothing more than a propoganda arm of the statist project beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, the Left will more than likely continue to ignore what is staring at them directly in the face.
UPDATE: Greg Gutfeld has the best take so far.
But here’s the real moral: the same libs who said Obama was going to lead us into a new post racial world, are pretty much the same creeps fanning a racial division. Ackerman, a faux tough guy typing from his hidey hole, realizes that without the accusation of race, he’s got nothing to shield an incontinent ideology.