Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Stanley Kurtz has a Modest Proposal

NRO's Stanley Kurtz is channelling Jonathan Swift this morning, in his article: A Grand Media Bargain

A few little gems:

Apparent conservative glee over the Rather fiasco is actually closer to obsessive fascination, relief, and terror. It's a bit like having a doctor cut out and show you a tumor you knew was inside you, but never imagined was so ugly, dangerous, or just plain real. You're riveted, revolted, happy, and scared all at once. To see displayed so openly the bias and treachery conservatives always knew was under the surface of network news is both a relief and a warning. In short, the conservative obsession with Rathergate is not so much a political tactic as an index of just how much the mainstream media spook the Right.


Then there's the lure of simple relief at no longer having to pretend to be fair. Imagine the effort it must take to create a patina of balance and objectivity when your very reason for being a journalist is to help move the country leftward. True, the authority conferred by a reporter's apparent objectivity is a major asset in any attempt to influence the voting behavior of a trusting public. Yet it's no longer clear that liberals want or need that pretense. A bestseller list dominated by angry attacks on President Bush, along with the embrace of Michael Moore by even the most respectable senior Democrats, suggest that nowadays liberal reporters might as well let their bias show.


Perhaps in some fundamental sense I have misjudged the liberal media. I have claimed that left-leaning journalists actually know themselves to be biased, and would therefore relish the chance to discard the pretense of fairness and turn into open political advocates. But couldn't it be argued that what most characterizes today's mainstream liberal journalists is the illusion that their own prejudices are indistinguishable from fairness itself?.... (snip)... I reject this challenge to my proposal. It is impossible that a respectable liberal journalist might actually confuse his own political biases with fairness itself. To believe that liberal journalism (and by extension, American liberalism itself) is this far gone, we would have to believe that Dan Rather was incapable of acknowledging how profoundly he has betrayed his own journalistic principles.

Read the whole thing.


Post a Comment

<< Home