One of the saddest aspects of our public discourse in 2014 is that, in a media universe that’s incredibly broad, the only major opinion outlet that regularly provides thoughtful commentary on current events is Comedy Central. Consider, for example, Jon Stewart’s rant last night about FOX News:
Stewart’s point—that FOX News is completely unserious about its attacks on Barack Obama—has long been obvious. You’d never learn that, however, by watching how those attacks are treated by the “serious” newspeople who bloviate on our mainstream news outlets. Instead of making sharp judgments about credibility and newsworthiness, today’s pundits are all too willing to treat any conservative criticism as legitimate, regardless of how venal and self-serving it actually is.
If you don’t think that’s true then let’s try a little experiment: Tune in to Meet the Press, This Week, or Face the Nation this coming Sunday morning and see how the ridiculous story of Obama’s coffee cup salute is treated. If the story is scorned or the motivation of its proponents questioned, then I’ll happily stand corrected. Hell, if the story is simply ignored, I’ll be happy to eat crow.
I’m betting, though, that what we’ll see in a few days on every one of those shows is Peggy Noonan (or someone like her) concern-trolling about Obama’s disrespect for the military or some similar nonsense.
The most effective lie in the conservative repertoire over the years (and certainly one of the most damaging) is the canard of a “liberal” media. Our media has always been in the bag for corporate interests, never more so than it is today. The evidence, if anyone cares to see it, is out there every Sunday morning hiding in plain sight. On the other hand, if real analysis is what you’re looking for, then you won’t find it on Sunday mornings. Weeknights at 11:00 PM would be a much better bet… just don’t make the mistake of looking for it on FOX News, CNN, or MSNBC. If thoughtful analysis is what you’re after then you’ll have to stick with Comedy Central.