Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On the Wankosphere

From Greg Sargent:

Either way, the problem is this: Those critics can't be placated. The right wouldn't stop shrieking their "media is liberal" war cry if every single major liberal columnist in America were hauled off in tumbrels and beheaded on the Mall. Right-wing media criticism isn't about achieving the "balance" they supposedly seek; it's about bullying and intimidating mainstream reporters and pundits to fear being labeled as "liberals" if they don't reproduce GOP spin, even when they know it to be false. It's also about enabling right-wing voices that are far out of the mainstream to infiltrate the media.

Take a look at Domenech's maiden voyage. He writes:

[E]ven in a climate where Republicans hold command of every branch of government, and advocate views shared by a majority of voters, the mainstream media continues to treat red state Americans as pachyderms in the mist - an alien and off-kilter group of suburbanite churchgoers about which little is known, and whose natural habitat is a discomforting place for even the most hardened reporter from the New York Times.

Domenech's MSM-bashing, of course, is belied by his own apparent hiring. And the paper's columnists include conservatives Charles Krauthammer and George Will. Indeed, one way to think about the right's "media-is-liberal" campaign is as a kind of crude protection racket. The analogy isn't perfect, but the idea is this: The right-wing criticism effectively says to the MSM, "Look, there are a lot of pretty pissed off people out there who think you're too liberal. You need to hire some of us to protect you against them and the too-liberal charge."

And Chris Bowers:

I still believe this, only now I feel it has developed to such a degree that the right-wing blogosphere itself has been all but annihilated. Most major right-wing bloggers have now been incorporated into the established news media apparatus. Glenn Reynolds is a columnist for MSNBC. Andrew Sullivan is a columnist for Time. Michelle Malkin is a frequently published columnist in a number of offline outlets. And now, RedState co-founder Ben Domenech has a regular column in the Washington Post. Despite being the latest in a long line of conservative bloggers to achieve "mainstream" status with the established news media, his first column was, predictably, an attack on the same institutions that just hired him and gave him space.