I don’t know if you know anyone like this, but I have an adult relative who regularly stages temper tantrums to get what he wants. It always annoys me, because my attitude has always been “scream all you want, I don’t care”, but not everyone in my family feels this way.
So it is with the the right’s anti-media tirades. They’re welcome to it all they want, it fires up their base, and that’s all good…until the media starts taking the kabuki sturm und drang too seriously. Jay Rosen:
Here we have one of the most under-covered stories of the 2012 campaign. If the Republican candidates believed the culture war wing of their own party, if they credited it with any genuine insight, if they respected its critique of the journalistic profession, if they thought there was a solid core of truth there, they would not have agreed to participate in debates where the questions are asked by such ideological opponents as Wolf Blitzer and Jon King of CNN, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos of ABC, David Gregory and Brian Williams of NBC, John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times and on and on. As Hewitt said: Hey, these guys are left wing! It doesn’t make any sense!
Unless… the candidates see the culture war wing of their party as a useful idiot– wrong about what journalists are up to, but valuable for keeping the press in line.[….]
My view: even Newsbusters knows their critique is a joke. They’re just working the refs, and raising money off their Agnewisms. And it’s a pretty sweet gig. Brent Bozell’s 2010 salary: $423,000. He should be raging at the Republican candidates for legitimizing the David Gregorys and John Harwoods of the world.
And of course the ref-working works! The Kaplan ombudsman today:
“See, you liberal media nincompoops, this is all your fault, you treated Obama like a saint when he was running in 2007 and 2008 and you didn’t vet him, investigate him, report on him skeptically. You were so fawning (and adoring of his blackness), you missed that he was a (pick your adjective), radical, socialist, Muslim, inexperienced, dangerous, corrupt, weak Chicago politician with no track record of accomplishment, whose only talent is giving speeches.”
Those e-mails usually employ much harsher language, and some are filled with expletives.[…]
Deborah Howell, Post ombudsman from 2005 through 2008, said at the end of her tenure that “some of the conservatives’ complaints about a liberal tilt [at The Post] are valid.”
I won’t quibble with her conclusion. I think she was right.[….]
And that’s what The Post needs to do in covering his reelection campaign this year: be hard-hitting on his record…
I guess if I were a Kaplan employee I would ask the wingers who write pissy emails to papers, just as I would ask my rageaholic uncle, what the fuck are you gonna do about it? Why are the people at Kaplan so scared of a few angry emails from wingers?
I understand that most national-level journalists are careerist sociopaths who have made a career out of betraying journalistic principles in order to seem “fair and balanced”. I understand that they know they will be fired — a la Ashleigh Banfield and Phil Donohue — if they don’t tilt right.
But that’s all at the level of pleasing their bosses and sponsors. I can’t see why they bend so easily to a few tirade-writing wingnuts.