31 May, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Well, my darlings, I hope you're enjoying our first evah Carnival of the Elitist Bastards. I do believe we have achieved what you might call a success. A heartfelt thank you! to all who contributed, and all our readers, without whom such enterprises are worse than useless.

And now, on to our regularly scheduled Discurso, because the stupid never sleeps.

Some of you may wonder just how divorced from reality our nation's right-wing media is. Judging from what Glenn Greenwald has to say, they've never been more than perfect strangers:
Speaking of Politico's sycophantic service to the GOP, Allen's colleague, David Paul Kuhn, today has an article about how gay marriage is going to help McCain win the election and doom Obama among independents and working class voters. Last week, Kuhn wrote an article reporting that GOP operatives were excited about the prospects of McCain winning in a "blowout." Several weeks before that, Kuhn wrote an article about how the Iraq War's growing popularity among Americans would be a huge asset for McCain and doom the Democratic candidate. Not even the most shameless GOP hack makes such absurdly optimistic claims about the GOP's electoral chances -- at least not out in the open. They just have Kuhn and Politico do it for them.
When you have silly fuckers claiming the Iraq War is gaining in popularity and that the GOP's excited about McCain's stellar prospects, you know that no divorce from reality has taken place. You can't get a divorce from something you've never been married to.

Lest you think it's confined to the avowed right-wing insaniacs, observe our Mainstream Media in action:

The central excuse offered by self-defending "journalists" is that they didn't present an anti-war case because nobody was making that case, and it's not their job to create debate. This unbelievably rotted view found its most darkly hilarious expression in a 2007 David Ignatius column in The Washington Post. After explaining how proud he is of his support for the attack on Iraq, Igantius explains why there wasn't much challenge made to the Administration's case for war (h/t Ivan Carterr):

In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism. Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn't create a debate on
our own
. And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it.
They were "victims of their own professionalism." It's not up to them to create a debate where none exists. That's the same thing Charlie Gibson, David Gregory, and
Tim Russert -- among others -- have all said in defending themselves.

That's odious enough - supposed "journalists" merely parroting what they're told without digging up facts to verify that what they're repeating is true. Even if it were the case that "there was little criticism of the war," real journalists don't take a politician's word on faith: they do actual reporting and try to confirm or debunk what's being claimed. I think we're all grown up enough to understand that politicians lie. Our MSM, however, is not. Still, let's grant them the "it's our job to report what people are saying, and nobody important was speaking out against the war" defense, just for the fun of watching what happens next:

But beyond that, this claim is just categorically, demonstrably false. As Eric Boehlert and Atrios both demonstrated yesterday, Ted Kennedy in September, 2002 "delivered a passionate, provocative, and newsworthy speech raising all sorts of doubts about a possible invasion." Moreover, Al Gore (the prior presidential nominee of the Democratic Party) and Howard Dean (the 2003 Democratic presidential frontrunner) were both emphatically speaking out against the war.

Thus, three of the most influential voices in the Democratic Party -- arguably the three most influential at the time -- were vehemently opposing the war. People were protesting in the streets by the hundreds of thousands
inside the U.S. and around the world. In the world as perceived by the insulated, out-of-touch and establishment-worshiping likes of David Ignatius, Brian Williams, David Gregory, and Charlie Gibson, there may not have been a debate over whether we should attack Iraq. But there nonetheless was a debate. They ignored it and silenced it because their jobs didn't permit them to highlight those questions.

Question for our "journalists:" in what universe, exactly, was there "little criticism of the war"? I'm just curious.

Does anybody else get the impression it's high time for a Carnival of the Media Clowns?

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