Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Walking the Plank: The folks at Atrios's site are in high media dudgeon lately. Seems there's a bunch of disloyal bastards in the ranks of the great media conspiracy. Let's see, who are the useful idiots and right-wing toadies this week? Judy Woodruff, for one. She unfairly refused to take sides in a debate on her show! Oh, and David Broder, too, gets hammered for suggesting arrogance among the elite media. (Note heavy use of this formulation: "X represents everything that is wrong with [the type of] journalism [that X purveys].") Maureen Dowd escapes a real beating, though, since she hasn't admitted to liberal media fallibility. Yet.

One of the few sure bits of evidence that there does exist a media bias (usually liberal, but not always so) is how loud the true believers screech "Bias!" when their ox is gored. As with the Judy Woodruff issue, the general attitude is, "How dare they not take our side." Atrios will get to the point where only he and Joe Conason (oh, and Sid Blumenthal -- who, come to think of it, is also famous for dealing harshly with inconvenient former allies) can be believed.

More, along the same lines: Atrios would have us believe that the right-wing media tried to paint liberal politicians as generally anti-war. He quotes a FAIR report:

Of a total of 840 U.S. sources who are current or former government or military officials, only four were identified as holding anti-war opinions--Sen. Robert Byrd (D.-W.V.), Rep. Pete Stark (D.-Calif.) and two appearances by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio).
Leaving aside that FAIR is about as left-leaning an organization as you can find (I mean, honestly -- take a look at their webpage; they make no bones about it), I don't recall anti-war liberals being the problem. To help inform the point, how many self-described pro-war liberals were there? Only a handful, and most of them were running for president. No, the problem (as the New Republic pointed out so well) was that most liberals, like John Kerry, wanted the issue both ways and, when cornered, wanted simply to take the bold stand on the war that they believed, um, something ... but they couldn't remember what just then and, by golly, isn't it running a bit late to be taking questions now, plus, dammit, I served my country and resent you questioning my patriotism!

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