Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Michael Barone and the Semantics of Republican Hate

When death puts out our flame, the snuff will tell, if we are wax, or tallow, by the smell.--Poor Richard

Michael Barone of US News writes: "The focus of hatred in the right blogosphere is not Kerry or the Democrats but what these bloggers call Mainstream Media, or MSM. They argue, correctly in my view, that the New York Times, CBS News, and others distorted the news in an attempt to defeat Bush in 2004."

Barone is disingenuous. And he contradicts himself.

While the right wing blogosphere openly hates the so-called mainstream media (who have been jumping to the defense of payola journalist Jeff "Gannon" Guckert), Barone claims there is no personal animosity for Kerry or Democrats.

But wait a minute-- the imaginary media support for Kerry is why regressive Republicans hate the media. By Barone's own logic, then, this feeling about the media is fueled by hatred for Democrats. Indeed, journalists are hated AS democrats.

That is the standard charge, 80% of them are Democrats, so journalists' claims to objectivity are a sham.

Well, Barone's claim that he and the storm troopers don't hate Democrats, just the media, is a sham. They are telling us loud and clear, they don't hate the media as opposed to Democrats, they hate the media AS Democrats. This means that hating the media for the reasons Barone gives is itself an act of hating Democrats. While denying it.

The new regressive right: It is unembarassed in its hatred. It is unapologetic. It is periodically hypocritical, but it is nothing if not full-throated.

In Chris Powers' dKos diary today, Yea, You Heard Me Right, he performs the thought experiment of putting the routine libel, slander, and viciousness coming from Limbaugh, O'Reilly and company into the mouths of Democrats with Republican targets. It is stunning, the routine disrespect and contempt (for human dignity and the truth) that is produced by this crew.

Sample:
"I've got something to say.
What we need are Democratic strongmen who will walk up to those conservatives in favor of the war and punch them in the face.
We need Janet Reno to find these hawks, have ATF agents with automatic weapons arrest them, and place them in an offshore prison where we can hold them without charges and declare them enemy combatants.
Maybe this is all too elaborate. Perhaps we should just drop bombs on their homes.
We do this because they are enraged at the prospect of being tolerant."

This ventriloquism of the regressive right echo chamber makes Eason Jordan sound like Step n' Fetch It. Compared to this crew, he should be considered as a mediator.

Fortunately we have Michael Barone to put our mind at ease: They don't hate Democrats, they just hate the media for not always hating Democrats. Or for being Democrats. There, that feels much better.