Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bob Garfield's Track Record

Bob Garfield is actually still conflicted about stating the obvious truth that the Bush administration lies and breaks the law on a daily basis. He resents being forced by the administration to have to do it. He knows it's true, but he still refuses to accept it.

No such ambivalence when it comes to shooting down experiments in journalistic reform. This is a pretty stunning, but sadly typical exhibit of the liberal wing of the media's Stockholm Syndrome.

Poor Bob Garfield is in danger of being compared to Amy Goodman for telling the truth. Pass the smelling salts!

Gotcha journalism's assumption of cynicism and bad faith simply can't be presupposed when it comes to those in power with a track record of nothing but.
But one exchange with an experiment in journalistic reform he personally misrepresents and the gloves are off, he's calling out liars and demanding apologies.

The evidence is clear: Jay Rosen is a greater danger to the republic than George W. Bush so he must be held to a stricter standard.

Aside from fear or self-loathing, this is the only possible logical premise that could support Bob Garfield's clownish double standard.

Either way, Bob Garfield upholds a truly noble tradition of abject obeisance to authority and contempt for reform. Congratulations, Bob, you and the Democratic congress are on the same dysfunctional page!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Broder's Real Americans

Digby describes David Broder as effectively arguing that people who disagree with him aren't real Americans. I would extend her point to suggest that Broder's position here is entirely continuous with Limbaugh's recent "phony soldiers" diatribe. Limbaugh clearly and explicitly said that even Republican soldiers who disagree with him about policy are not "real soldiers." (I know he now wishfully claims he didn't say it, but we can't let fantasy become the only standard for analyzing political fantasy.)

For me, it is the increasingly apparent continuum between the purportedly centrist Broder and the avowedly right-wing Limbaugh that fails us--that has effectively banished political disagreement, banished the public sphere in a manner of speaking.

On one side we have "real Americans" who agree with daily GOP talking points and who come to about 30% of the population in most opinion polls. On the other side we have anyone else who dares to disagree--the 70% of the American people who are so beyond the pale they can't be taken seriously and O'Reilly can call them Nazis and both parties in Congress will pass legislation saying, "Amen."

How did David Broder, icon of civic journalism, arrive at a point where he is effectively calling 70% of the American people "phony Americans"? How can he not see a problem reinforcing an anti-democratic force like Rush Limbaugh who says essentially the same thing? It is becoming difficult to avoid Greenwald's conclusion that this happens because Broder and Limbaugh ultimately agree on these sorts of things. It is becoming difficult not to conclude that the press and the Democrats capitulate because they too are closet extremists, they too are GOP rubber stamps distinguished only by an additional layer of self-loathing and bad faith.