Dialogue of the deaf 4

In America now, the Left and the Right could be speaking two different languages, so little do they understand each other.

We on the conservative right are convinced that the mainstream media are heavily biased towards the Left. Confirmation of our view has just been handed to us by the Daily Caller in an article by Jonathan Strong, titled Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama-supporting journalists a huge majority in the profession – knew all too well that Jeremiah Wright, the pastor whose church Barack Obama had been attending for twenty years, was an America-hating bigot, a fiercely anti-white racist, and a sympathizer with the 9/11 terrorists. Obama’s association with him was so likely to be harmful to his election prospects that they would have suppressed any news of it reaching the voters. But pesky right-wing reporters who did not think that one of Wright’s faithful flock would be a good choice for the presidency of the United States were insistently spreading the information. It made the Obama supporters spitting furious. They sent written advice to each other on how to deal with the threat that the exposure of the truth was posing.

One example from the Daily Caller:

Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”

The whole article and all the quotations are worth reading. They prove not just a desire but an active conspiracy to deceive the public and help Obama into the White House.

And yet this is to be found in an article by Eric Alterman in the The Nation, in which he discusses the disappointment progressives are experiencing over Obama’s failure – as they see it – to effect a radical left transformation of America. He tries to explain the failure, and among other snags and hitches (mainly set, he insists, by the Bush administration) he finds that the mainstream media have not sufficiently supported Obama and trumpeted his successes, and that their “reflective prejudices” are against him!

Of course progressives need to keep up the pressure they have begun to place on the mainstream media not to adopt the deliberately misleading and frequently false frames foisted on readers and viewers by an increasingly self-confident and well-funded right-wing noise machine. Media Matters, FAIR and other organizations have done this in the past but it needs to be kept up. And in an age of instant, personal communication, there’s no reason it can’t be. … Done properly, such pressure is an effective means of forcing journalists to rethink some of their reflective prejudices, particularly in today’s punishing economic environment. But if progressives continue to pressure them to live up to the promises of their profession — to refuse to cater to the lowest common denominator of tabloids or the right-wing cesspool of talk radio/cable television discourse — such pressure on these organizations should strengthen reporters’ and editors’ backbones to do the kind of work that made them proud to be journalists in the first place. (This is, happily, a fundamental difference between right and left wing media criticism. The right seeks to undermine the messengers of news that does not comport with its worldview; the left wants journalism to stick to its guns and resist such pressures to color the news, believing, as Stephen Colbert once said, that the facts “have a well-known liberal bias.”) And on the positive side, we need to support those journalistic enterprises and experiments that attempt to live up to their values as it becomes harder and harder to do so, whether with subscriptions, clicks or direct donations. A campaign for taxpayer-funded high-quality journalism on the model of the BBC — and recently suggested by a study published by the Columbia School of Journalism — should not be off the table.

Alterman is apparently perfectly sure that right-wing journalists deliberately distort the news, while ever more obstacles are put in the way of straight factual reporting which would inevitably endorse liberal opinion.

One of the remedies he suggests is “taxpayer-funded journalism”. In other words, government-funded. (As were Pravda [Truth] and Izvestia [News] in the Soviet Union –  about which some Russians dared to joke that there was “no news in Truth, no truth in News”.)

Where can discourse across the political divide even begin? Any attempt at it can only be a dialogue of the deaf.

Posted under media, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

This post has 4 comments.

  • Christopher John

    I offer the following on race.
    This is a short essay on how to get by the terror and stigma of the PC crowd’s attacks on everything that doesn’t comport to their view of race. As many whites can testify, any thought that isn’t molded by the liberal, PC crowd is immediately branded “RACIST.” Hmm, just seeing it in print here probably has some of you weak in the knees. Sit back, take a deep breath, relax, it’s going to get better, I promise.

    Okay, you’re a white guy and you have some opinions on race. Guess what? You’re allowed to. But you know you don’t dare say anything. We all know it. Now here’s the point, your opinions may be right, they may be wrong, but it matters not. No opinions other than the PC proscribed pre-programmed pogrom are allowed.

    Well, this is all utter nonsense and it’s got to and is going to stop. There are legitimate areas of difference and grievance between the races. Of course all people should be equal before the law, and be given equal opportunity, but should not and cannot be made equal by the gerrymandering of reality itself. Diversity may sound nice, but as the great Thomas Sowell (a black man) said, “Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of “diversity” that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen — written in blood — from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word. ”

    Issues of black crime, drug abuse, towering HIV and AIDS epidemics, welfare, affirmative action and many other subjects can no longer be conveniently brushed aside with the usual PC-baloney that is designed to stop all words and thoughts dead in their tracks. Our illustrious Attorney General Eric Holder has called for an honest and open discussion on race, so now, let’s have one. By the way, all of the topics listed above, have and are being discussed by black leaders, at least some of them, but are supposedly strictly off limits to whites. Why? We hear and see black complaints about whites on a daily basis.

    What I am about to write, by the way, is not some esoteric academic theory, but tried and true, tried and proven, in the battlefields of business where I have spent most of my life. It’s not one of the ways, it is the only way to diffuse these baseless, out of hand attacks with the dreaded “R” word. If I do say so myself.

    You, a white guy have gotten brave and said whatever it is you had to say. Once upon a time in this country that was also known as freedom of speech. You can look it up in the dictionary for more information. I’m guessing it’s under “F.”

    Now, a black guy, or more likely some mindless PC zombie calls you a racist. You immediately hit the floor, frothing at the mouth, spinning uncontrollably like a Whirling Dervishes. Next you are crawling up the name-caller, pulling on his pant-leg begging for forgiveness. Tears stream down from your watery eyes. Can I give you a piece of advice? Man, get up off your bony white little knees and start being a man. That’s another word you might want to look up in the dictionary, “man.” There are legitimate issues that need to be discussed. Nothing should be off limits. And if so, why?

    So the PC-ers have called you a racist, let me show you the response.

    “You’re a racist!”
    (Easy, relaxed) “Whatever…is what I said true?”
    “Yeah, but you’re a racist man, a dirty racist.”
    (Easy, relaxed) “I’ve been called many names, lots of them when I was in school, it’s kinda silly, could we get back to the facts?”
    It’s really that simple.

    If you’re perceptive you might notice a few things. You don’t find me falling on the floor, whining and crying, giving dozens of reasons why I’m not a racist, reciting all the black people I know and saying how I loved the mini-series Roots. My demeanor, cool. My attitude is sort of just back-handing this charge out of the way. It doesn’t need a big response, no need for speeches, just address it casually, not giving it much credence and quickly dismiss it.

    If you make it into a major issue, it is a major issue. If you make it into a minor issue, it’s a minor issue. If you make it into nothing, it’s nothing. Remember, this is the only arrow in the PC-ers quiver, diffuse it and he’s toast.
    What was the most important thing I did here? You may have noticed I never even bother to answer or address the question. A few points here. The nanosecond you try to answer a charge like racism, you have already lost. This is because now you are back on the ropes defending, when you should be in the middle of the ring, pressing the facts. For another thing, I don’t have to answer charges like these, neither do you, and neither does the guy making the claim. It’s like he’s fishing and trying to get you to bite on the bait. Let it go by, let it pass. You have simply stated what his charges are, name calling and silly. This is all that needs to be done. Why do you constantly keep making mountains out of PC attacks that are necessarily designed to shut you up and conceal the facts? Every time you act like a clown, you have simply taken the bait, fallen into the PC trap and they can play with you mercilessly until they decide to finish you off.

    If race were the only area of PC intrusion it would be bad enough, but as it touches our lives in so many ways, race being just one of them, this PC baloney has to stop. The last thing any of us need is thought and speech control. If it won’t stop of it’s own accord, then these are the methods needed to diffuse it.

    Remember, when someone plays the so-called “race-card” it only works if you silly enough to pull up a chair at that particular poker table.

  • Andrew M

    Long-time atheist, first-time reader. Glad to have found a home where I can feel comfortable among the right.

    I'm floored so far by the rare clarity I see coming from this site. A part of me used to be too innocent to swallow such a conspiracy, even if I perfectly comprehended the language behind it. Having come from such leftist ignorance myself, I can look upon the Obama sympathizers with the same empathic eyes I used when I made the crucial step right. Plenty on the left are still this benign and they're not the problem. The odious onus lies on people like Ackerman and Alterman, who support public belief in the lies by cooing their unknowing followers with this aura of inculcation.

    This article reminds us to put on the skeptic's gloves before brandishing Occam's Razor. Don't attribute to evil what is more easily explained by stupidity, but don't forget to take out the garbage when it smells this bad either.

    • Andrew M

      I can't seem to edit my posts here, but no matter. Just yesterday I wrote an soft repudiation of Stephen Jay Gould's NOMA whose moral kernel seems very applicable in this regard:


      I enjoin you to read this article and appreciate whatever commentary you may offer.

      • Jillian Becker

        We welcome you, AndrewM, and thank you for your encouragement. Please stay with us.

        Thank you also for the link. I've read your article with interest. I began a comment based on a false memory of what Stephen Jay Gould had said, found I was wrong, and erased what I had written. I may come back to this later.