Regular readers know that our sometimes mantra, “Both Sides Don’t” is generally ignored; the pontificating poltroons in our courtesan press continue to belch up false equivalences to try to appear non-biased.
Our pal Driftglass has long said that the punditry lie of Both Sides Do It is the essential lie that lets all the other pundit lies exist, and we agree. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, any criticism of the Right immediately triggers a reflexive, “yes, but the Democrats…” and the topic shifts. The thing is that they are never equivalents and usually not even related. It’s like trying to pay your bar tab by handing over your dry-cleaning ticket. But I digress.
Kevin Drum at Mother Jones asks us, “Has the mainstream media finally had enough?,” and he postulates that maybe they have, reluctantly and bitterly started to reach the conclusion that the GOP is both rudderless and off the rails:
“It seems to me that something has happened over the past three months: the nonpartisan media has finally started to internalize the idea that the modern Republican Party has gone off the rails. Their leaders can’t control their backbenchers. They throw pointless temper tantrums about everything President Obama proposes. They have no serious ideas of their own aside from wanting to keep taxes low on the rich. They’re serially obsessed with a few hobby horses — Fast & Furious! Obamacare! Benghazi! — that no one else cares about. Their fundraising is controlled by scam artists. They’re rudderless and consumed with infighting. They’re demographically doomed.”
OK, that is sort of the conventional wisdom of Lefty Blogostan, what else have you got?
Recently, though, my sense is that this has shifted a bit. The framing of even straight new reports feels just a little bit jaded, as if veteran reporters just can’t bring themselves to pretend one more time that climate change is a hoax, Benghazi is a scandal, and federal spending is spiraling out of control. It’s getting harder and harder to pretend that the same old shrieking over the same old issues is really newsworthy.
Question: Am I just imagining this? Or has there really been a small but noticeable shift in the tone of recent reporting?
It’s a worthy question: are Drum’s Spidey-senses tingling?
My sense is that the MSM print media is just sort of sticking its metaphorical toe in the water of actually reporting, but I suspect that it won’t last. The electronic media (Dancing with the Gregory, This Week with a Greek Dwarf, etc.) have not even tried to break the surface of Villager foolishness.
I mean, just look at the top 3 Sunday Talkies line-up:
-NBC’s “Meet the Press”: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ); husband to former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and retired Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly; roundtable with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews
–ABC’s “This Week”: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; roundtable with ABC News’ George Will, Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, former Romney 2012 campaign senior strategist Stuart Stevens; “Sunday Spotlight” segment with author and Johns Hopkins Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery Dr. Ben Carson (“America the Beautiful”)
–CBS’s “Face the Nation”: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) and Mayor Cory Booker (D-Newark); Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl; defense and foreign policy roundtable with Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, Foreign Policy Magazine’s Tom Ricks and CBS News’ Margaret Brennan; political roundtable with Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter and CBS News’ John Dickerson
It’s not encouraging that so many pundits who have been proven demonstrably wrong continue to bloviate their conventional (incorrect) wisdom, week after week, month after month, year after year. There is no consequence for these people to be wrong on issue after issue. Next week, Walnuts will be on another Sunday Talkie.
In related news, a comet exploded over Russia indicating the end of the dinosaur era. Let’s hope Grandpa Walnuts gets the message.