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Oh, Poor You


Digby has a great post on yet another example of the "liberal" corporate media being not so predisposed to liberaldom.

Ok. Let’s go over this again, shall we? Let us stipulate that the left blogosphere is a bunch of shrieking freaks who have completely lost our marbles. We are rude, crude and out of control. But louder than the other side? Because of some blogswarms? If only.

For the last twenty years we have had your rightwing radio, your rightwing TV, your rightwing publishing, your rightwing speakers bureaus and your rightwing magazines and your rightwing pulpits. Then you have your imbalanced panels on news shows, your intermarried politicos and journalists and your faux liberal punditocrisy. Yet, our little blogswarms have the entire journalistic establishment all atwitter, wondering what has happened to the discourse?

The entire DC establishment went stark raving bonkers for eight years, followed by nearly five years of a kind of courtier sycophancy we haven’t seen since Louis XVI. I do not know the explanation for why this happened, although I have my suspicions. (The question brings out almost as many possibilities as "why did we invade Iraq?") But it happened. I saw it with my own eyes. Now they decide that something’s gone wrong?

Are we "louder" now? Certainly. We were veritably silent before. But the entire rightwing media infrastructure still spews out its disgusting bile on a daily basis. Perhaps the sound of it has become so familiar to those who live and work in Washington that they no longer hear it. To those of us in the "fever swamp" it is a little alarming. On 6/6/06, Ann Coulter will release her new book about liberals called "Godless." This is on the heels of Ramesh Ponnuru’s new one called "The Party of Death." Hannity’s last book was called "Deliver us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism and Liberalism".

Let’s contemplate a difference for a moment, shall we? Liberals want the press to do their job, wingers want them to be the Pravda of the right.

Marty Kaplan hit this point perfectly at HuffPo:

I guess if you put enough journalists in the same ballroom, it’s easier to be in denial about the impact of Fox and The Washington Times and faux think-tanks and bloviators on your profession. If the President comes to your party, surely it’s a validation of your credibility, of your relevance to the nation’s democratic well-being. On such a night, it’s effortless to think that Blogistan is far away, full of rabble, and no threat to your authority or longevity. I imagine Marie Antoinette felt the same way.

The media establishment doesn’t seem able to understand that the passion that motivates many people to blog about the MSM, and many more to comment on those posts, is born of an old-fashioned appreciation of the power and role of journalism. When bloggers jump on what they believe to be stenography rather than reporting, when they denounce partisan narratives posing as uncontested wisdom, when they push back against blind-source footsie: they’re doing it because they’re in awe of what good journalism is capable of doing.

It’s time for the media establishment to suck it up, and stop blaming all of us when we call them on facts that they get wrong.  Inaccuracy is not something to defend in a bunker.  There are plenty of examples — on this blog and elsewhere around the lefty blogoverse — where reporters who do their jobs well and accurately (Which is the same thing, but if Howie Kurtz is reading, I wanted to spell it right out so there was no question of misunderstanding.) get round after round of applause.

We want our press with a spine back.  You know, Cronkite saying Vietnam was unwinnable on the air, Edward R. Murrow calling McCarthy on his evil crusade.  There are fantastic reporters, working their butts off every day to turn over all the festering rocks and expose their hideous, hidden underbelly to some public sunshine.  And thank goodness for them.  But can’t the whole of the Washington sycophancy follow their lead?  Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE:  You need more evidence of how "liberal" the corporate media is and how we’re all just a bunch of shrill harpies?  Media Matters has some information on CNN’s newest hire, Glenn Beck, who once told a 7-year-old African American boy (who wrote a poem that Beck found to be controversial) "You want to go to Africa? I will personally purchase your airfare."  Way to go, CNN.  Two words for you:  Savage Nation.

Once you read through the Media Matters link above and get a belly full of Beck’s bile, you might want to contact CNN and let them know what you think of their latest on-air personality hire.  I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com