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Forgive an ignorant foreigner trying to understand the American scene, but haven't the liberals had the NYT, the WaPo, and indeed, virtually all the major big city newspapers, to say nothing of the national TV networks and Public Broadcasting, with which to broadcast their ideas? Or am I just a nother victime of the Right-wing propoganda conspiracy?

Hi David :) You're that victim thing. But, lucky for you, you found this blog! Only say the word and you shall be healed.

Well, in my frightfully British, hesitant way, I wasn't actually looking for a cure, just trying to get an answer to a question, which was to the effect that liberals complaining that they lacked a media to carry their message was rather like Count Basie complaining that he didn't have enough trumpets. (Please, please don't ask who Count Basie was, it would be too, too cruel!)

Actually, it's jolly hard to get an answer from an American blog. You're all terribly polite but you seem able to shimmy round a question with effortless ease.

Well, you certainly are a victim, David! I recommend reading the NYT for a few days or watching 'Newshour' and you should be disabused of the notion that you deal with liberal media here pretty soon.

In your frightfully British way, Dave, you didn't actually ask a question, which may explain why you didn't get an answer.


The media is NOT liberal and hasn't been liberal for over 20 years, if it ever was. For one shining moment that lasted approximately a decade (Viet Nam/Watergate) it did its job. That simple act caused a storm of protest from whining right-wingers weeping and moaning and gnashing their teeth about the 'elitist liberal media' that had proved their valiant fight against Communist aggression to be little more than baseless hysteria and their hero Richard Nixon to be a paranoid, anti-democratic autocrat who spit on the Constitution when you could get him to pay any attention to it at all.

They used their money (think 'advertising budgets') and the influence it bought them to scare newspapers into buying their peculiar notion of 'balance'. This has resulted in acres of he said/she said journalism replacing actual reporting. Instead of examining what a budget funds as they used to do, for example, they now interview a conservative and a less-conservative and report what they each say the budget funds. It's hearsay reporting, almost exclusively, even when it doesn't have to be and shouldn't be.

As the major news sources such as the ones you cited have deteriorated in courage, they have become more or less, in the last 5 years especially, mouthpieces for the conservative Noise Machine, often printing Republican press releases verbatim as if they were news reports.

Getting the picture? If you've actually been reading the WaPo or the NYT or any of the other major papers in the last 20 years and you think what you've been reading is a 'liberal' perspective, you've been--as Humphrey Bogart might have said--misinformed. Which is, of course, the point.

Put it in your terms: the conservative Noise Machine is Basie's trumpet section. The liberal element is represented by the nose flute. Know how many nose flutes there were in Basie's band?

Thanks, Mick, and the name's 'David' by the way. I am the Founder, Life-time President, and, alas, the sole member of S.A.D., the Society Against Diminutives. I am a huge admirer of your splendid country, but this habit of reducing everyone's name to a single syllable grunt is one export I could do without. (And no, I don't get out very much!)

Back to the point, my question, or questions, were contained in my first comment. Hoorah for you because you actually answered them, which is more than you can say for that slippery lawyer, 'paperwight', who, in another 'comments box' below, dished out accusations like writs but failed to answer my mild questions as to the evidence to support them - and now he's banned me from his site! Thanks to you, I shall now treat the reports of people like Emmett Tyrrell, Mark Stein, 'et al', with proper suspicion, and sleep more soundly in my bed knowing that Maureen Dowd and her ilk, are a figment of their imaginations.

However, may I test your good nature and patience with one more question? Why is it that liberal radio stations fail to gain a popular audience in the way that those dreadful Right-wing stations do? Is it the message, do you think?

Right wing radio appeals to people in a base sort of way that left wing radio simply can't match. That is, fear and hate are far more motivating than say being outraged over the conduct of those who get away with what they do because of the fear and hate they sow.

A great example is the invasion of Iraq. People are motivated by fear of terrorism and hatred of those who don't have the same religion. So the outrage over the actions of the Bush administration in getting us in that war gets lost in the fear and hate.

Once the conservative distrust and skepticism of government faded when they took power in 1994, the focus has shifted from the government to those who would question it.

I agree, Adam. But I'm not sure that liberal talk radio is in the dire straits that David suggests. The fact is that it isn't funded. Let's see how Air America does over the next (at least) five years before we decide that the liberal message doesn't play.

As for decisions of war, people can't bear the idea that a war fought in their name was illegal - that makes us all murderers instead of liberators. Nobody is reminding America that we opposed this misbegotten adventure when BushCo first started catapulting the propaganda lies. It was, to our credit, not an easy sell. But we did, in the end, buy it. And thousands of people are dead.

Robin, I'll have to fill in as your Brit called David, since the other guy doesn't appear to have been able to "stay the course".

Eric Alterman suggested that the truth to the idea of the liberal media was in the attitude towards conservative cultural ideas. That is to say, no one in the media takes seriously crap about gay hating and all that fundie nonsense. Everyone laughs at them behind their hands.

The problem is - religious nutcases aren't the real Right, they are just the stooges. The useful idiots. On any topic that the elites care about they get their way in the media they own. They simply don't care enough about their spiritually luddite hangers-on to pass down the marching orders to take them seriously. In the absence of instruction, nature takes it's course.

The NYT article as a whole confuses ideas with propaganda. They are more or less opposites, as you note: the one is partly intended to obscure the other.

The problem is - religious nutcases aren't the real Right, they are just the stooges. The useful idiots. On any topic that the elites care about they get their way in the media they own.

Boy, I agree with that.

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