Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Limbaugh, Coulter, and Robertson

Here is an interesting brain teaser. If some conservative commentator says something controversial, we have a predictable pattern:

1. Outrage from the mainstream media,
2. Request from White House press pool for comment from the President, and
3. Fawning coverage of whoever the conservative commentator was criticizing.

Let's use Ann Coulter as an example. A given controversial comment is newsworthy because...why? Is it because anything she says is newsworthy? If so, then where is the reporting of her non-controversial comments, or ideas that help the conservative movement?

What exactly is the justification for reporting a quote from someone only when it is helpful to the liberal cause?


Blogger Mahan said...

I believe that part of this problem (very possibly the majority of the problem) comes from the ideological makeup and structure of the current media in the United States. To illustrate, I offer a quote from Pauline Kael on the election of Richard Nixon in 1972:

"I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them."

This attitude of lofty detachment from people of a different political persuasion is a crippling weakness in an industry that still thrives on its image as that of the newspapers of the past, with reporters who had started in their teens and worked their way up to be editors, etc. Today's media is a product, instead, of the modern academy, and as a result shares the well-documented prejudices of that institution.

Therefore, since the academy is demonstrably left-leaning in sympathy, it stands to reason that its products are as well; thus we see that the major national media organizations simply take for granted the idea that the majority of people think as they do, and therefore whoever supports their point of view is to be applauded and "blessed" (in a secular sense) with favor from the media.

The irony in all of this, of course, is that if their orthodoxy is challenged, they become defensive, because very few persons wish to have their assumptions questioned by outsiders, even to the mild extent of "What if you're wrong?". The great tragedy with this, as with the academy, is that there is no longer any room for what used to be the great strength of the American system; diversity of thought or belief in objective truth.


January 18, 2007 10:19 PM  

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