June 16, 2006

the problem really IS the media

This is a great essay on the problem of the media and Coulter. And he is right. Despite the constant refrain that Coulter is no worse than some on the left (I would like one example of anyone on the left who a) says that kind of stuff and b) is on the news constantly), putting her on the news legitimizes her.
"The issue here is not the damage done to America's public discourse - we already know that liberals have become the equivalent of terrorists in the minds of millions of Americans. Nor is the issue the media's hunger for ratings (

what's next, snuff films?) The issue is the establishment media's symbiotic relationship with these rightwing blatherers:
'I've argued that the propagation of anti-left and pro-right narratives by the establishment media is more insidious - and thus more dangerous - than the cowardly bleating of people like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill Bennett, Bill O'Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh. When Coulter is invited to spout her putrescence on Larry King Live, the legitimacy granted to her is CNN's fault, not Coulter's. After all, there's no shortage of desperate attention seekers willing to say and do outlandish things to get noticed. The question is, why does CNN grant an open forum to this particular whack-job and not others?The symbiotic relationship between far right screamers and the establishment media dresses up extremist rhetoric in a veneer of decorum. When Tim Russert, David Broder, Chris Matthews, and the New York Times peek into the Clinton bedroom, they are using their supposed 'neutrality' to disseminate rightwing talking points, thereby magnifying the rightwing echo chamber.'


One thing is for sure: responding to Coulter's assertions is pointless. When she speaks the unspeakable about the 9/11 widows ("I have never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much") and when Glenn Beck does the same (calling hurricane survivors in New Orleans "scumbags" and saying he "hates" 9-11 families), reasoned discussion is not on the table.""

And I would think that conservatives would decry that as much as liberals. I keep saying this, but I will respect Republicans when the grownups come back.

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