Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fred Barnes: The Vast Left-Wing Media Conspiracy - WSJ.com

Fred Barnes, who was one of the people targeted in the Journolist archives that have been released, writes about it in the Wall Street Journal:
When I'm talking to people from outside Washington, one question inevitably comes up: Why is the media so liberal? The question often reflects a suspicion that members of the press get together and decide on a story line that favors liberals and Democrats and denigrates conservatives and Republicans.

My response has usually been to say, yes, there's liberal bias in the media, but there's no conspiracy. The liberal tilt is an accident of nature. The media disproportionately attracts people from a liberal arts background who tend, quite innocently, to be politically liberal. If they came from West Point or engineering school, this wouldn't be the case.

...

Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent proposed attacking Mr. Obama's critics as racists. He wrote:

"If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them—Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares—and call them racists. . . . This makes them 'sputter' with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction."


No one on JournoList endorsed the Ackerman plan. But rather than object on ethical grounds, they voiced concern that the strategy would fail or possibly backfire.

...

What was particularly pathetic about the scheme to smear Mr. Obama's critics was labeling them as racists. The accusation has been made so frequently in recent years, without evidence to back it up, that it has little effect. It's now the last refuge of liberal scoundrels.

It's good piece, but I'd beg to differ on that last point. It isn't the last refuge of liberal scoundrels - it's the first one. The race card is no longer trump, but it's the only card they've got left in their deck...

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