Every year, Salon‘s Alex Pareene publishes a hack list. The list is supposed to call attention to political commentators, newspaper columnists, political news show hosts and cable news pundits, who are constantly on television. They are listed and described rudely because there is no reason to respect people who are typically “wrong about literally everything” or who engage in “shameless sycophancy.” Yet, Mother Jones‘ Kevin Drum thinks a problem for liberals is that they need hacks. In fact, they do not have enough hacks.
Liberals will spend hours upon hours chastising some of the people, who’ve appeared on the Salon lists (or in Pareene’s column on hacks). Drum has written over ten posts in the past couple of years, where he calls attention to the National Review’s Jonah Goldberg for being a “conservative partisan hack.” Drum has ridiculed Fox News contributor John Stossel for cheerleading austerity and saying people should welcome the pain. Drum has written tens of thousands of words about New York Times “moderate conservative” columnist David Brooks, who regularly disguises reactionary ideas in establishment speak.
These are just a few examples. Part of Drum’s regular blogging seems to be regularly posting glib remarks about hacks that are laced with some nuggets of value. So, isn’t Drum’s introspective post about liberal hacks obviously hypocritical?
Conservatives Have More in Media Who Are Willing to Say Whatever to Advance the Party Line
Drum lays out his reasoning:
The hack gap is a liberal problem of long standing. Put simply, we liberals don’t have enough hacks. Conservatives outscore us considerably in the number of bloggers/pundits/columnists/talking heads who are willing to cheerfully say whatever it takes to advance the party line, no matter how ridiculous it is.
My conservative readers may scoff at this notion, but rarely has the hack gap been on such febrile display as it has since last Wednesday’s presidential debate. Ask yourself this: can you even imagine Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh tearing their hair out over a weak debate performance by Mitt Romney the way that liberals have been over President Obama’s? I can’t. [emphasis added]
Ignoring the fact that Limbaugh actually has been critical of Romney, it is obvious what Drum desires: liberals who can be counted on to adhere to a party line. He wants more liberals, who know their place, and show fealty or loyalty toward Obama. If they have to be ridiculous or lie to get into the conversation in the press, so be it. The party line of the Democratic Party up against the conservative line that the Republican Party wants to get across to all Americans will lessen the impact of the conservative media echo chamber.