Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why does the Washington Post hate America - data collection

Neal Gabler in the L.A. Times:

Politics as religion in America

There is something terrifying in this. The media have certainly been cowed; they treat intolerance as if it were legitimate political activity.

Jamison Foser at Media Matters:

Like a dog that's been beat too much

But what is stunning is that even as they run chasing after every story conservatives hype, the media apologize for not doing so more quickly. That's just what they've done the past week.

On Sunday, Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander devoted his column to conservative complaints that the paper had been too slow to cover ACORN. Alexander agreed with the complaints and suggested the "tardiness" was a result of liberal bias.
And Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli worrying "that we are not well-enough informed about conservative issues. It's particularly a problem in a town so dominated by Democrats and the Democratic point of view."
So whom did Alexander quote or paraphrase arguing that the media don't exhibit a liberal bias or that they have devoted too much attention to ACORN, or that -- as the new study released this month makes clear -- that they haven't bothered to fact-check the sensational right-wing claims about ACORN that they report? Nobody.

I think both these pieces are excellent. However, I'm no longer willing to give a paper like the Post the benefit of the doubt. They're sensitive to conservative criticism the way Br'er rabbit was sensitive to being thrown into the briar patch.

I've linked this before. It's just one incident that the Post quickly regretted. I think of it as an isolated incident the way a smoking gun with fingerprints on it is an isolated piece of evidence in a murder investigation.

More to come, but what do you all think? My opinion is that big corporations have bought our politicians, they've bought our media, and they are driving the country into a series of catastrophes.

UPDATE i: Language will be a problem.

What's Liberal? (Hanx, Perfesser Bérubé!)

What's Conservative? Republican, Democrat? How about the divide between editorial and news, at least as respected in name only as Church and State?

I know corporate leg-humping when I see it, and accusations of 'liberal bias' just allow the Washington Post to hump corporate leg harder.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I should note that the corporatists did not buy either the Post or the NY Times...they inherited those papers.

And I wonder if corporatist is the right label?

Snag said...

I think there is another issue at work besides. The institutional history of these places, and the personal history of many of the senior people at them, was forged during the Vietnam/Watergate era, a time when many of them were relatively liberal.

Since then, the Republican party has steered far more dramatically toward the right. As a result, the lesser rightward drift of the newspeople leaves them still more "liberal" than the current conservative movement, although much less liberal than such a term would have suggested during their formative years.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'd grant them some of that, Snag.

But I think it's still more charity than they deserve.

Take Bob Woodward (plz!). Do you think he would still write about Watergate for the WaPo?

Or would he have burned Deep Throat for an exclusive tell-all with A.G. John N. Mitchell?

Follow the money!

M. Bouffant said...

I think we all realize that if WoodStein were young & hungry today, they would be doing secret hidden camera investigations of ACORN.

The fact that Dustin Hoffman went on to play "Tootsie" is absolute proof that Bernstein would be the one in drag as the "ho."

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I think Snag has had some bourbon and is feeling more mellow and forgiving than may be warranted.

I'm a liberal, and I haven't seen any of them in newspapers since The Milwaukee Urinal canned Joel McNally.

Do we expect any of them to follow the secret gun show videos with anything like the barking frenzy they devoted to the fake stupid pimp Acorn videos?

Snag said...

I hadn't had any bourbon which is probably why I wasn't clear. Let me try again with a snootful.

At the time of Watergate, Woodward was moderately liberal and the Republican party was conservative.

Now, Woodward is conservative (whether because of age, class, money, or some other reason) and the Republican party is batshit crazy.

So, Woodward thinks, "Wow, I'm more liberal than the Republican party." True. He then takes the unwarranted next step: "Wow, that means I'm a liberal." (He's not, he's just not as batshit crazy as the Republican party.)

Then, even worse, comes the next step, which is to say, "Well, I'm writing for the Post and I'm a liberal and so we need a conservative viewpoint (read batshit crazy) to balance me." This notion, of course, is repeatedly hammered home by any number of batshit crazy people.

In other words, it's not a liberal versus conservative balance (e.g. the Times' Krugman/Brooks), it's a conservative versus batshit crazy balance (e.g. the Post's Cohen/Krauthammer).

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I agree with Snag. Woodward is a cobag. You get inside his brain like a hungry zombie.

Snoothie Bootchies all around!!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

However, I can't believe that Woodward thinks of himself as a liberal.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I'm sure that's true, ZRM.

But he benefits from the accusation, just as the right-wing nutjobs benefit from the spin that Woodward is a liberal.

Instead of loony tune right-wingers versus money-hungry access whore, it's conservative versus liberal.

And those sane people to the left of Bob Woodward, the ones who have been right (as in correct) about everything these past decades?

They're not serious. They're DFHs. Serious people either ignore or laugh at them. (And serious people keep getting paid by there corporate masters...no matter how wrong those serious people continue to be.)

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