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Daily Howler: Liberal spokesmen treat you like rubes when they kill Bill and hand Chris a pass
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THERE ONCE WAS A SWELL FROM NANTUCKET! Liberal spokesmen treat you like rubes when they kill Bill and hand Chris a pass: // link // print // previous // next //

BUNGLING RATHER (PART 8, GRAND FINALE): OK, let’s make it short and sweet. Our modern press corps has two major parts. On the one hand, we have an aggressive pseudo-con press corps which is constantly yelling liberal bias. And then, we have the mainstream press corps, which actually tends towards that “right-leaning dinner-party centrism” which Josh Marshall correctly describes and correctly says that he fails to discuss.

Due to its right-leaning dinner-party centrism, what does that mainstream press corps do? For one thing, when kooky-con books ascend the best-seller lists, the mainstream press corps doesn’t point out how kooky these books really are. The free pass being handed to Mark Levin has been handed to many others before him—including John O’Neill and Jerome Corsi, whose absurd, kooky book, Unfit for Command, rearranged last year’s White House race.

But there’s something else the mainstream press tends to do—over the course of the past dozen years, it has tended to savage Big Democrats. For reasons they’ve never much been asked to explain, they trashed Bill Clinton through his years in the White House, then conducted a two-year War Against Gore—a war which put George Bush in the White House. That War Against Gore may have been the most remarkable press event in our lifetime. But try to find the “liberal spokesman” who discusses that war today! That press corps war changed American history—and “liberal spokesmen” all seem to know that they just mustn’t bring that war up!

Result? When Dan Rather bungled the Bush AWOL matter, pseudo-con screamers began to yell liberal bias. And even after the trashing of Clinton, then Gore, your “liberal spokesmen” stared off into space, unwilling to note the sheer absurdity of this persistent claim. Somehow, Flavia Colgan and Gene Lyons were able to see the foolishness of this claim in the wake of the Clinton-Gore era. But why didn’t Rachel Maddow know what to say when she dropped by Scarborough Country? Perhaps she’d been listening to other “liberal spokesmen”—people who never seem to mention your nation’s recent press history.

But then, their friends are inside that mainstream press, and so are the sources of their future earnings—earnings which can be quite considerable. Did Chris Matthews buy a second home, on Nantucket, for $4.4 million? There’s a lot of scratch to be made inside Chris’ cohort. And somehow, by total coincidence, your brave “liberal spokesmen never seem to discuss that cohort’s “dinner-party” clownishness—the clownishness that continues to make a joke of your discourse and a mess of American interests.

For ourselves, the bungling of the Rather bungle finally said it all. Your brave “liberal spokesmen” refuse to discuss the most important events of your nation’s recent history. (And when Dahlia Lithwick makes a plain mistake, they rush to praise her for her brilliance!) Meanwhile, the brilliant E. J. sits and chats about how drunk Wonkette really is! Yes, a fatuous, mewling dinner-party culture does own the soul of your Millionaire Press Corps. But so what? “Liberal spokesmen” are willing to come right out and note the fact that they fail to discuss it.

In the process, ordinary people never get to hear about their nation’s recent history. And pseudo-con screamers get to keep yelling about that feared liberal bias. Indeed, there’s the portrait of your age: One group keeps yelling things which are false—while the other refuses to say what is true! But so what? The people deceived by this process are proles! Why should your fiery “liberal spokesmen” give a fat fig about that?

THERE ONCE WAS A SWELL FROM NANTUCKET: “Liberal spokesmen” love to bash Bill O’Reilly, and yes, he gives them plenty of chances; this past Tuesday, for example, Mr. O opened with an utterly ludicrous segment about the New York Times’ “counterattack against the late pontiff,” John Paul II. The Times had run a fair-and-balanced pair of op-eds that day; one piece praised the fallen pope, one was largely critical. But so what! Mr. O called both columns “anti-pope opinion pieces,” and rent-a-hack pseudo-press critic Bob Kohn was on hand to ramp up the nonsense. For the record, here are the last four paragraphs of one of the columns that had Mr. O’R all a-twitter. The column, by Polish novelist Stefan Chwin, was headlined “Poland’s Holy Father:”

CHWIN (4/5/05): Certainly there were some sections of Polish society that were critical of the pope's confessing the church's guilt toward the Jews. But John Paul II's definitive rejection of the Crusades and conversion by force, his efforts to help purify the collective memory and his explicit condemnation of all forms of anti-Semitism have become, in Poland, a lasting legacy that has strongly influenced Polish intellectuals.

That's exactly the kind of pope that Poles liked: a great religious leader who didn't teach religious hatred, who had no desire to fight anyone, who never excluded anyone from the conversation. He was a Catholic who could pray by the Western Wall, who could pay respects at Yad Vashem and visit the Umayyad Mosque. The only regret among Poles was that he did not succeed in bringing about a dialogue with the Eastern Orthodox Church, which clearly rebuffed all his efforts to do so.

His heroic old age also won much admiration. When John Paul II died, you could see the tears on the faces of the people of Poland. Candles were lighted in thousands of windows. The only other time that had happened was during the tragic days of 1981, following the declaration of martial law.

These candles will burn throughout Poland until the pope is laid to rest. As I looked at them from my window in Gdansk, they seemed to be not only lights of mourning but also beacons of hope.

Phew! It’s no wonder Bill was so upset by the Times’ flagrant anti-pope bias! As noted, Bill’s clowning was enabled by rent-a-hack Kohn—and by American U journalism prof Allison Schafer, who failed to note the sheer absurdity of denouncing Chwin’s reverent piece as an “anti-pope” attack. (The critical piece, by Thomas Cahill, started out by acknowledging John Paul’s “indisputable greatness” and closed by saying that “he will surely be remembered as one of the few great political figures of our age.” No wonder it had Bill upset!)

But to his credit, O’Reilly continued exploring real news this week while MSNBC was turning its air into a treacly papal pep rally, an extension of the Catholic piety of the network’s island-based caliphate. Last night, for example, O’Reilly did an intelligent segment on the Minutemen border movement and an interesting (and perfectly fair) interview with Ward Churchill’s attorney. The night before, he did a segment in which he aggressively hammered Tom DeLay for paying big bucks to his family. He did not turn his program into an hour-long pimping of his personal faith and piety. But last night, over on MSNBC, Matthews was playing the fool once again. All other news had to come to an end while he and the rest of his goony network dished the Eternal Word to its viewers.

But then, Matthews has been a train wreck for years. In fact, no one did more to change our history in that remarkable Bush-Gore election—but do you ever hear Matthews’ misbehavior discussed by your fiery “liberal spokesmen?” They love to batter Mr. O—and to give a free pass to the Nantucket nabob. But then, who knows? Maybe some day they’ll live among the swells too, like the untouchable Mr. Chris does! They play you for rubes as they batter Bill while giving pious Chris his free pass.

No one—no one—misbehaved more as the mainstream press corps put Bush in the White House. But good “liberal spokesmen” all know not to tattle. Do you ever get tired of this?