Yes, Sarah, There is a Media Conspiracy

Yes, Sarah, There is a Media Conspiracy

November 24, 2009 12:38 am 4 comments

Matt Tabbi’s colorful description of how political journalism works:

Once the signal comes down that this or that politician doesn’t have the backing of anyone who matters, that’s when the knives really come out. When a politician has powerful allies and powerful friends, you won’t see reporters brazenly kicking him in the crotch the way they did to Dean and they’re doing now to Sarah Palin. The only time they do this is when they know there won’t be consequences, meaning when the politician’s only supporters are non-entities (read: voters), as in the case of Ron Paul or Kucinich. Like America in general, the press corps never attacks any enemy that can fight back. To illustrate the point via haiku:

Journos are pussies

Only attack when it’s safe

Lay off entrenched pols [...]

For those of you who can’t connect the dots, I’ll tell you what it means. It means she’s been cut loose. It means that all five of the families have given the okay to this hit job, including even the mainstream Republican leaders. You teabaggers are in the process of being marginalized by your own ostensible party leaders in exactly the same way the anti-war crowd was abandoned by the Democratic party elders in the earlier part of this decade. Like the antiwar left, you have been deemed a threat to your own party’s “winnability.”

And do you know what that means? That means that just as the antiwar crowd spent years being painted by the national press as weepy, unpatriotic pussies whose enthusiastic support is toxic to any serious presidential aspirant, so too will all of you afternoon-radio ignoramuses who seem bent on spending the next three years kicking and screaming your way up the eternal asshole of white resentment now find yourself and your political champions painted as knee-jerk loonies whose rabid irrationality is undeserving of the political center. And yes, that’s me saying that, but I’ve always been saying that, not just about Palin but about George Bush and all your other moron-heroes.

Matt Tabbi: Yes, Sarah, There is a Media Conspiracy

See also: Jay Rosen’s “Sphere of Legitimate Debate.”

And on the subject of Palin and the GOP’s future: Max Blumenthal thinks she’s going to take the GOP down with her (Sarah Palin Rules the GOP — And She Will Destroy It). I’m not so optimistic, but one can always hope.

4 Comments

  • Interesting and probably pretty accurate. However, it sort of bewilders me that you think removing the Republican Party from the political equation is going to make much difference. The people currently leading the fight against working people are Democrats, and they do a pretty bang up job of it. Removing Republicans from the political equation wouldn’t seem to do much more but polarize American politics between advocates of civilian government and advocates of military government.

    What, precisely, would be the improvement in the day to day lives of working class people in a world without a Republican Party? Do you seriously think that the social forces Democratic Party politicians routinely kowtow to would go away?

    Finally, I think that Tabbi ignores a very important point. Anti-war radicalism doesn’t serve much purpose for the American financial elite, except in their frequent role of providing left cover for the Democratic Party. The Tea Party crowd are the vanguard of an incipient fascist movement in America. Such groups are immensely useful to the powers that be. Painting what anemically passes for “the left” in this country as some sort of mirror image of the muscular far-right is mechanistic, simplistic, and vaguely idiotic.

  • Klint Finley

    “What, precisely, would be the improvement in the day to day lives of working class people in a world without a Republican Party?”

    Other than schadenfreude? Mostly a chance for other parties to muscle their way into the discourse. It’s a longshot, but so is the end of the GOP.

    “The Tea Party crowd are the vanguard of an incipient fascist movement in America. Such groups are immensely useful to the powers that be.”

    Such groups have been useful to elites in the past, but it doesn’t mean modern elites don’t think of the Tea Party movement as disposable. Or that some groups wouldn’t want to be publicly associated w/ them.

    But really I don’t think “the media” has really cut loose on Palin or the teabaggers – not like they did with Ron Paul or Howard Dean or the anti-war movement. Palin covers sell magazines, Palin interviews get ratings. They still treat her like a serious politician instead of a raving lunatic.

  • Klint Finley

    Here’s a counter-example regarding GWB – http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/112509b.html

    There are some criticisms that are still taboo, no matter how accurate.

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