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Friday, September 18, 2009

The Fringe Media

Glenn Beck has really had it with the MSM. He's so fed up that he's now calling them the fringe media. Now, if it were easy to change my tags, I would change them all, but I will continue to use the tag of the MSM. Still, the fringe media is an apt title for them. Just think about the important stories of the day and then think about what the fringe media is covering and how the cover it.

The ACORN story was, for several days, not even covered by the MSM. We all know about Charlie Gibson's infamous answer to Don Wade and Roma when they asked him about the story. Gibson sheepishly admitted he hadn't even heard about the videotapes. Then, when the fringe media did begin to cover it, they tried to turn the story into the two reporters, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.

But it took amateur actors, posing as a prostitute and a pimp and recorded on hidden cameras in visits to Acorn offices, to send government officials scrambling in recent days to sever ties with the organization.

Conservative advocates and broadcasters were gleeful about the success of the tactics in exposing Acorn workers, who appeared to blithely encourage prostitution and tax evasion. It was, in effect, the latest scalp claimed by those on the right who have made no secret of their hope to weaken the Obama administration by attacking allies and appointees they view as leftist.

The Acorn controversy came a week after the resignation of Van Jones, a White House environmental official attacked by conservatives, led by Glenn Beck of Fox News Channel, for once signing a petition suggesting that Bush administration officials might have deliberately permitted the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Even before Mr. Jones stepped down, Mr. Beck had sent a message to supporters on Twitter urging them to “find everything you can” on three other Obama appointees.

Then, an MSNBC anchor referred to O'Keefe as a right winger. Of course, the story isn't the two journalists. Instead, it's the behavior of the ACORN employees and the management that allowed them to behave this way.

The fringe media similarly ignored the Van Jones story. Here's the now infamous video of Chuck Todd wondering if covering Van Jones is the best use of the media's time.

Finally, there's the media's fascination, or better yet condescension, with Glenn Beck. Ever since Beck exploded with Fox, the rest of the media doesn't know what to do with him.

Glenn Beck: the pudgy, buzz-cut, weeping phenomenon of radio, TV and books. Our hot summer of political combat is turning toward an autumn of showdowns over some of the biggest public-policy initiatives in decades. The creamy notions of
postpartisan cooperation — poured abundantly over Obama's presidential campaign a year ago — have curdled into suspicion and feelings of helplessness. Trust is a toxic asset, sitting valueless on the national books. Good faith is trading at pennies on the dollar. The old American mind-set that Richard Hofstadter famously called "the paranoid style" — the sense that Masons or the railroads or the Pope or the guys in black helicopters are in league to destroy the country — is aflame again, fanned from both right and left. Between the liberal fantasies about Brownshirts at town halls and the conservative concoctions of brainwashed children goose-stepping to school, you'd think the Palm in Washington had been replaced with a Munich beer hall.

Unless you cover the media, Beck isn't the story. The fringe media doesn't know what to make of him, and so they simply make fun of him. To the fringe media, he's the media equivalent of a circus clown.

Of course, that's why the mainstream media has turned into a fringe media. They can't seem to figure out what is a story anymore. The only stories that interest them are the ones that are passed back and forth at the cocktail parties they attend together. To them, the only fascination is why the rest of the country is so fascinated with ACORN. The only fascination is why anyone at all is fascinated with Glenn Beck. The only fascination is why anyone would find anything wrong with the president. They don't see the world for what it is, but rather for what they'd like it to be. That's why they are now irrelevant. They are now the fringe media.


Anonymous said...

Glenn beck dont make me laugh. he is fringe media for a reason. Most people see him for what he is - you and your ilk can't.

President Bush cut $1.3 trillion in taxes — and the biggest beneficiaries by far were the top 1 percent of earners. At the same time, Wall Street was inflated by the helium of a regulation-free economy that eventually gave us Bernie Madoff and banks begging for bailouts.

Now consider the people who showed up in a state of generalized rage in Washington over the weekend. They have no leaders, save a self-described rodeo clown — Glenn Beck of Fox News — and some well-funded Astroturf outfits from the permanent lobbying class inside the Beltway. They are loosely organized under a Tea Party movement, but these people are closer to British Tories than 18th century patriots with a love of equality.

And they have the wrong target.

Mark Williams, a Sacramento talk radio host, was speaking to CNN on behalf of the demonstrators — many of whom carried signs comparing Obama to a witch doctor, an undocumented worker or a Nazi — when he played the blue collar card.

Who is Williams? A garden variety demagogue who calls Obama “an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug” and the Democratic party “a domestic enemy” of America. He also refers to the president as “racist in chief.” That says all you need to know about leaders of the Tea Party movement.

Williams repeatedly invoked the “working stiffs” who feel left out. Working people are always the last to get aboard the gravy train, and the first to be used in campaigns that will not advance their cause. And with these demonstrators, and the hucksters trying to distract them from real issues, history repeats itself.

Where was the Tea Party movement when the tax burden was shifted from the high end to the middle? Where were the patriots when Wall Street, backed in Congress by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, rewrote securities laws so that the wonder boys of Lehman and A.I.G. could reduce home mortgages to poker chips at a trillion-dollar table?

Where were the angry “stiffs” when the banking industry rolled the 2005 Congress into rewriting bankruptcy law, making it easier to keep people in permanent credit card hock?

Where were they when President Bush started the bailouts, with $700 billion that had to be paid on a few days’ notice — with no debate — to save global capitalism?

They were nowhere, because they were clueless, just as most journalists were.

But now, at a time when a new president wants to reform health care to fix the largest single cause of middle-class economic collapse, he’s called a Nazi by these self-described friends of the working stiff.

“A working class hero is something to be,” John Lennon, that product of ragged Liverpool, sang just after leaving the Beatles. “Keep you doped with religion and sex and T.V.”

As someone who had a union card in my wallet before I owned a Mastercard, I don’t share Lennon’s dark view of blue collar workers. But as long as they can be distracted by people who say all government is bad, while turning a blind eye to manipulation at corporate levels, they’re doomed to shouting at phantoms.

One more detail caught my eye in these new economic reports on the lost decade. People in their prime earning years — age 45 to 54 — took the biggest hit in the last years of the Bush Administration, their median income falling by $5,000. And the region that suffered most — the South.

Older southern whites — that’s who got hit hardest by the freewheeling decade now fading. They should be angry. But they’re five years too late

Anonymous said...

you know I would swear that I had read this very same rant about a day ago...

Either you are getting some NYTimes writers on your blog or a nice dash of plagairism. The Anon, author starts copying at "president bush..." which is the second sentence in paragraph 6 of the above NYTimes link.

I'll allow someone else to refute the Anon author, however actions speak louder than words and the Dem. administration is bumbling issue after issue like a redneck at a DUI checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

This simply reinforces the idea that conservatives have a parallel belief system. They are a cult, capable of explaining away every hole in their worldview by blaming it on the liberal media.

Absolutely incorrigible.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I'm the 6:46 Anon. I'm not certain if your reply is towards me or towards the article written, but I'll give your reply a stab.

First of all being a Dem. or Liberal I would assume you'd have an open mind especially when it comes to hashing or parsing political issues, especially hiding behind the cloak of anonimity. I digress, being a conservative is not a cult, I don't remember killing any goats or wearing robes and drinking kool-aid. Being a conservative (for me) is about a set of ideals from which one does not deviate: fiscal responsability, moral code, ethical code, respect for human life etc. Conversely being a liberal is about too many things, freedom of expression with regards to life, financial flagrance, etc.

The problem is that within the Dem./liberal circle it's such a large and ever expanding set of values that you can get factions to develop within the party that actually weaken the party. A democrat that supports abortion and opposes same sex marriage can meet someone else in the party who supports abortion and opposes same sex marriage. Being a party of factions leads to a weaker and weaker party base the more it expands since the values of the factions continually evolve and change and get lost.

However, failure to report an important issue whether liberal or conservative is an embaressment. Admittedly if this had been about a non-ACORN entity supporting prostitution, underage sex, tax evasion etc. et al, it would be on every news network 24-7 evidence of this can found in the kidnapping/rape case that occured in CA (Garridos).

BTW Note how I'm not taking the ad hominem attack process as you did but placing emphasis on the idea, I'd be thrilled to dispute ideas with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not making any attacks. I'm pointing out an observation. A conservative can look the clear text of a bill denying subsidies to illegal immigrants and claim the bill gives coverage to illegal immigrants. They can claim the President bounced the first pitch at the All-Star Game even as they watch video of him not bouncing the first pitch at the All-Star Game.

Fiscal Responsibility is not cutting spending by 10 billion only to cut taxes and raise military spending by 100 billion. Treasury yields were at least 1.5 points higher at every point during the Bush Presidency than they are now.

Realistically, the Democratic Party is rather fractured. The only thing that most of its factions have in common is that they have each been targeted for ridicule and demonizing by the Republicans. Ultimately, I can see the Democrats splitting in two, leaving America with a far-right Republican Party, a center-right Democratic Party, and a new center-left Progressive Party.