The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Media Decides to Be the Decider

Posted on | March 17, 2011 | 5 Comments

So, after a couple hours offline, I return to the computer, check Memorandum, and see headlines like these:

What’s going on here is that (a) the liberal media are once again trying to tell the Republican Party what to do, and (b) some Republicans — including a celebrity millionaire trying to promote his reality-TV career — are playing along with this game.

As a conservative, being able to think clearly about politics requires an enormous effort to see through the layers of tendentious bovine excrement smeared across the public mind. Understand, for example:

  • Members of Congress are fully authorized to vote their consciences without regard for how their votes would be portrayed by a hostile press.
  • When a reporter asks a question, “no comment” is an acceptable response.
  • Anonymous “insiders” are a dime a dozen in politics, and every time you see an anonymous source quoted in a story, you have every right to ask yourself, “What’s his agenda? What’s in it for him? Whose ox is this anonymous source trying to gore?”
  • Polls taken many months in advance of an election are a dubious predictor of the actual result, otherwise Charlie Crist would be a Republican senator and Martha Coakley would be a Democratic senator.

I’m not saying that people should ignore the news. I’m saying that people need to keep in mind that the media have their own agendas ( including trying to gin up readership and TV viewership) and that this imposes on news-consumers the burden of ignoring the hype and spin to find the actual facts buried beneath the bovine excrement.

And Republicans who try to advance their own narrow interests by playing along with the liberal media’s game — to the general detriment of the conservative cause — do not deserve admiration as “leaders.”


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