Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Quote of the Day

"There's absolutely no pretense from any of these publications of giving a policy a sort of objective hearing. It's very clear that it comes from the same mindset as talk radio and Fox News. This is something that's by and for a particular kind of conservative. It’s a circle jerk, isn’t it?"

-- Daniel McCarthy, editor of The American Conservative, on the state of conservative media in the era of Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and Drudge

Michael Calderone over at the Huffington Post dissects the whole conservative entertainment complex and the problems it presents for the modern right pretty damn well in a piece he's just published. It's amusing to see quotes like the one above -- the kind of thing that goes on record with the fact that a major disservice is being done to conservatives by their own "news" organizations -- and then to watch idiot pretend-journalists like Matthew Boyle of Breitbart and pretend-thinkers like Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post defend the state of things on their end.

Think about the big "scoops" conservative media outlets have spit into the echo chamber lately: Chuck Hagel's disturbing connection to "Friends of Hamas," a story based on a joke, and Robert Menendez's affinity for Dominican hookers, a story that fell almost completely apart even as it was being shouted from the rooftops. And those are just the ones we've seen over the past month. Go back a bit and you truly see the pattern of inanity that's been allowed to develop.

I've said this on more than one occasion, mostly on the podcast, but I'm not actually one of those people who wants to see the Republican party and conservatives in general drown in a puddle of their own spit. Having at least two vital political parties is good for America and I didn't completely abandon the Republicans until after they lost their minds. The reason I find it almost impossible to side with anything the GOP or the conservative movement says or does these days is that they've willingly let themselves become dominated by the most stridently insane and anti-intellectual within their ranks. When the inmates completely overrun the asylum and no one even bothers to try to stop them, it's time to just cut your losses and bail before you become part of the madness.

A press that lives for actual news, regardless of whether it's left-leaning, right-leaning or straight down the middle -- one that isn't intent on using phony scandal to try to take down its political enemies -- naturally creates an atmosphere where common sense political compromise can flourish. That's because truth and a dedication to it fosters respect between the sides. That's good for the country. Period.

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