Good old Crooks and Liars invited Eric Boehlert (author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush) to guest blog on the Swift Boat issue.
Why the Swift Boat Hoax Still Matters!: " Thankfully, over months and years the Swifties' most serious charges of faked wounds and bogus medals have proven to be fictitious; a political dirty trick. Yet thanks in large part to the press' initial timidity during those dog days of summer 2004, the Swifties remain lurking today, waiting for the next opportunity to pounce. For instance, Swifty ring leader and chronic fabricator John O'Neill recently sent out a nationwide fund-raising letter on behalf of a Vermont Republican running for the U.S. Senate.'"
It matters, of course, because we should care about facts.
I really fear that conservatives don't want the media to function correctly, or more accurately, these particular conservatives. Reminds me of the joke, "conservatives tell us that government doesn't work, then they govern and prove it." We have ample evidence of that occurring under Bush. Conservatives who railed against government create a government that is incapable of the basics, much less anything difficult. I don't believe that is what most Americans--even conservatives--really want from their government.
Likewise, it appears that the conservative media operates the same way. The goal is to demonstrate that the media cannot function as a watchdog because it is biased or corrupt. The mantra of "liberal media" persists to this day, but the background of the bias is really not that important to the Rove's of this world. More important that the media not function as a watchdog and not have credibility with the American people.
I think that really explains the rise of conservative hacks like O'Reilly and Hannity. O'Reilly's recent ahistorical ramblings must make Roger Ailes grin. The fact that O'Reilly asserts falsehoods as facts just reinforces what they want--that no one take the media serious and just focus more on American Idol and the latest missing white girl.
The media infuriates me too. But without some kind of watchdog--actual reporting that checks facts and sources--we are left to the devices of which ever administration is in power. That isn't good. Not even if the administration is Al Gore's [Please God!!]. It certainly isn't good with an administration that left on its own still would not have told us about Abu Ghraib.
BTW, I know my blog has been a bit angrier lately. Christians pushing abstinence only programs even when HIV rates double tends to frustrate me. I struggle to see any humor in that.
But I will try.