The Other McCain

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

It’s Kinda Hard to ‘Work the Refs’ When the Refs Are Playing for the Other Team

Posted on | May 4, 2011 | 2 Comments

One of my habits is re-reading good books. Any book worth reading is worth re-reading, and there are some books that I have read multiple times, including William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, and P.J. O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores.

Another habit, picked up during my college days: I always prefer to read while lying down. When I was in college, I’d take my textbooks to bed with me, fall asleep reading them, wake up and read some more until I fell asleep again. I’d sometimes spend most of the weekend like that, reading and napping all day, only leaving my dorm room to go eat lunch, until it was time to go out and party at night.

All of which is preamble to saying that I was re-reading Ann Coulter’s Slander last night when I went to bed. It had been a while since I first read it — it was published in 2002 — and I had almost forgotten how good it is. People who only know Coulter as a TV personality, trading snark with Hannity and O’Reilly on Fox News, ought to take time to read some of her books. She is a much better writer than most of her critics give her credit for, and probably even better than most of her fans realize.

Coulter’s writing is often aphoristic: She writes brilliant little sentences that hit the nail square on the head. At her best, she strikes those hammer blows in succession — bam! bam! bam! — and keeps it up for page after page. Such is the case with the seventh chapter of Slander, “The Joy of Arguing With Liberals: You’re Stupid!” Coulter cites example after example of how the media attacks Republicans with accusations of stupidity. Not only is her chapter-length reiteration of this theme laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s absolutely true: The pervasive belief among the liberal media that Republicans are stupid can be seen (although Coulter does not make this argument) as the flip side of liberal certainty of their own superiority. Liberalism as an expression of such superiority is what Thomas Sowell describes so cogently in The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy (one of my all-time favorite books).

These kinds of beliefs — the unquestional superiority of liberals, the equally unquestionable stupidity of conservatives — are propagated not only by the news media, but also by Hollywood and academia, and to some extent operate as a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are told over and over again that Democrats are the party of brains, and you fancy yourself to be brainy, it takes a heckuva rebellious instinct to vote Republican.

Given the pervasiveness of liberal bias in the news industry, entertainment, book publishing and academia, it’s really kind of a miracle that Republicans ever win anything. To complain about this bias is utterly futile, in terms of actually changing anything: Even if newspapers fired all their biased liberal reporters and editors, they would not be able to replace them with conservative reporters and editors, for the simple reason that 90% of journalists are liberals, perhaps reflecting the biases of their college professors.

No use complaining with the expection of changing this, you see: CBS replaces the biased Katie Couric with Scott Pelley who is, if anything, even more biased. And everyone in the CBS newsroom is convinced that any conservative who complains is stupid, merely because they’re conservative.

Well, OK, we’re complete dimwits, but despite our stupidity, some of us can nonetheless discern what bias looks like: Ace of Spades observes the presidential double-standard in action — read the whole freaking thing, including the comments.

Has it occurred to anyone else, by the way, that Ace of Spades could probably write a best-selling book? I mean, he’s averaging 120,000 page-views per day. I’d guess that translates to a core readership of 15,000-20,000, and he could almost certainly sell 10,000 books on that basis alone. A couple of appearances on Fox News (sitting on the Fox & Friends “curvy couch” or hanging out with Greg Gutfeld on Red Eye), interviews on a couple dozen talk-radio shows, and so forth — yeah, the marketing would be a snap.

Put it another way: Is there any liberal blogger with that kind of traffic who doesn’t have a book deal? I’m just sayin’ . . .


Comments are closed.