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Friday, June 29, 2007
(7:40 PM) | Stephen:
The Best Comment Left On Any Blog Anywhere

This is worth quoting in full:
Actually, history will show that George Bush will be recorded as one of the most outstanding Presidents of all time. Stock market records, prosperity, happiness, and unlimited optimism at every turn. You people should begin thinking for yourselves and quit buying into what a brainless liberal press keeps feeding you. Nobody gives those clowns two cents of credence anymore.
It's a comment in response to this post, and is such an excellent example of right wing delusional thinking that I'm forced to highlight it.

The right wing claim of a liberal press is understandable, if completely false. But the corollary that the press is now completely irrelevant is funny and a claim that's never made by the more realistic Left. Limbaugh, Savage, Beck and all the other right wing blowhards - even Coulter - rely entirely upon the press for their material. None of them do any original reporting. In fact, with the advent of organizations such as Talking Points Memo which actually do original reporting, I'd say that the right wing is far more dependent upon the national media than the left wing in this country.

But a belief in the media's irrelevance is important to people such as the commenter quoted above, at least so long as the media reports things that contradict the fantasy world of "prosperity, happiness, and unlimited optimism at every turn." Stock market records I'll gladly concede since those don't really have much to do with increasing the fortunes of the bulk of the American populace and are therefore truly irrelevant in any day to day sense.

As far as the "liberal" claim, have a look at Media Matters for America. Sure, it's a "liberal" site, but its founder, David Brock, was one of the architects of the very strategy that has so warped the above commenter's worldview. To put it in the theological terms with which I am most familiar, he repented of his life's work and set off in the opposite direction. Media Matters deals in easily verifiable facts, such as claims made on air that can be proven or disproven using reliable sources, video/audio records of people contradicting themselves - such as Cheney claiming he never declared a connection between Iraq and al Qaeda - the actual number of conservatives vs. liberals who appear on influential TV shows or enjoy platforms such as column space in influential magazines and newspapers.

While it may be true that a majority of reporters are socially liberal, with pro-choice views and a lack of desire to blame homosexuals for every problem on earth, the plain fact is that the news media is an industry dominated by a few large corporations. These corporations and their executives are very interested in seeing an environment that favors business and the rich over workers and the poor. This is reflected over and over in the media, especially in business segments on TV and sections in newspapers. That's why there's any kind of idea that we are in a period of prosperity; while wages are utterly stagnant, the gap between rich and poor is growing and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence, CEO pay is doing quite well, thank you, and our nation's businesses and industries enjoy the privilege of being largely ignored by the federal government's regulatory arms.

There are a lot of people who have a vested interested in comments like the above being left around, and actually believed, and they control huge chunks of the media landscape. They have been and will continue to use their platforms to convince people to dismiss anything that doesn't exactly fit into comfortable, preconceived notions about the world. And those who either don't have much strength of will or who hope to participate in the racket will continue to lap it up by the spoonful.

What a shame.

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