Here we find two of the most common pundit afflictions: (1) a compulsion to assert equivalencies even when they don't exist, and (2) a willingness to spout anything without doing the slightest work to find out if it's true. Douthat's claim about Maddow -- that "conservatives are only invited on [her] show when they have something nasty to say about Republicans" -- is completely false.
- From Glenn Greenwald, who is always clear and direct.
Somehow, a very real and understandable discontentment with the the red-state blue-state divide has managed to produce a moral equivalence meme, regarding journalists, pundits, etc. My Sullivan addiction notwithstanding, his essentially moderate views notwithstanding, I don't think he's even a symbol of this, with his Moore, Hewitt, Malkin, etc. awards. He's still, essentially, a moderate (who calls himself a conservative).
I don't blame the President, either, based on his 2004 "we're not red states or blue states" speech.
I think it's a more amorphous, insidious muddying of clarity that's afoot. You cannot sufficiently tell me that the left's most potent rhetoric has anything on the far-right's spitting on people and making fun of or screaming at Parkinson's sufferers. We have one side that uses words like "socialism" where in private they're using the epithets they wish they could still use in the open.
This separates them from perfectly helpless, small-C conservatives who have legitimate concerns on spending, the deficit, taxes, etc. I've never felt these were inherently shallow things to focus on politically.
Rachel Maddow, someone whose videos I've obviously posted here a lot, is not an example of a dismissable journalist, damnable on the basis of her partisanship.
She is absolutely indispensable, largely due to her bias. She is honest on where she stands. She has a worldview, a variety of left-of-center political stances, and an absolutely fearless willingness to challenge people's orthodoxies, on both sides. She is learned, articulate, and always backs up what she's got with some kind of factual representation. We must stop condemning people simply for the courage of possessing a worldview.
The right in this country developed all on their own the myth of the "left-wing media".
They've used that meme to essentially elevate it into its own reality. It took them forty or so years.
So which side, now that there are two warring journalist sides, is correct? The right-wing side has managed to hold onto their own base while disillusioning other people into thinking that both sides are "equally wrong". They're masters of this.
So don't let them win. If we start swallowing this idea that both sides are equally wrong, both sides are damnably biased, we're invariably receiving our genesis of that idea from a long outdated right-wing talking point.
And worse, we're acting like children. It's the media's job to present us with the facts, not all sides of every issue. For "all sides" read "conservative ideology".
Be an adult. Weigh and consider the facts you are handed. And fuck "balance".