The Colbert Conspiracy
If you want to see how far around the bend the left-wing blogosphere is, just take a look at this post over at Seeing the Forest — the sinister cover-up of Steven Colbert’s stand-up routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
Now, before we get started, you’re probably thinking, “Did he just use the words stand-up “sinister cover-up” and “stand-up routine” in the same sentence? Come on, Hawkins, the left can’t possibly be that wacky!”
Don’t buy it? Well, let’s fisk a fairly typical piece about the evil, Reich-wing media’s “intentional blackout” of — again, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this — Steven Colbert’s stand-up routine that was published at Seeing the Forest.
Seeing the Forest points out that Don Imus got a lot of attention for ripping Clinton at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in 1996 and then opines:
The only way to describe the press response is: intentional blackout. The New York Times, for example, wrote an article about the dinner and did not mention Colbert in the article at all. A scan of Google News finds almost no coverage outside of the blogs.
To begin with, after doing my own “scan of Google News,” I noticed that the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, MSNBC, and CBS among many other MSM sources mentioned Colbert’s performance. What does he expect? Screaming front page headlines that read, “Comedian Mocks Bush?”
Believe it or not, things get even more delusional from there:
“Why is there such an obvious difference in the coverage given Bush in general, compared to the coverage given Clinton? The press coverage of President Clinton led to his impeachment, even when all of the Republican-initiated investigations found he had done nothing wrong. In contrast the press continues its blackout of coverage or even discussion of possible crimes committed by President Bush.”
First off, I’m not going to reargue the whole Clinton impeachment, but the end result of the “Republican-initiated investigations” wasn’t a determination that Clinton “had done nothing wrong.” Clinton admitted that he lied under oath (which is generally called “perjury,” when we lesser mortals do it) and he lost his law license for 5 years.
As far as the media and Bush goes, they have ceaselessly, tirelessly, monotonously hammered away at him day in and day out for not finding WMDS in Iraq, Katrina, The Plame affair, “Mission Accomplished,” the “16 words,” the insurgency in Iraq, and any and every other issue du jour that the Democratic Party sees fit to bring up. For every positive story about Bush, there are a half dozen negative ones, and yet, the only thing you ever hear from the left is that the media is slanted the other way. It’s like a pro-football game, where the left starts the game with 35 points, and then spends the rest of the game complaining they can’t get a fair break.
But, moving on:
“In 1987 Ronald Reagan ordered the FCC to abolish the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcast media to provide balanced coverage of issues. Majorities in the Congress voted to restore the Fairness Doctrine and were blocked by Republican vetoes and filibusters. (Any time you hear a Republican complain about the “liberal media” ask them why it is Republicans, not Democrats, who oppose the Fairness Doctrine.) Following that, Republicans began to allow fewer and fewer large corporations to control more and more of these information channels. (PLEASE click the links. More here and here.)”
There’s a very simple reason why conservatives oppose the fairness doctrine: it’s because it would destroy talk radio. Reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine would mean that if a radio station put a conservative cash machine, like Rush Limbaugh, on the air for 3 hours, they’d also have to give a liberal host who can’t draw flies, like Al Franken or Randi Rhodes, a matching 3 hours. That’s like telling Nike, “For every pair of $120 tennis shoes you make, you’ve also got to make a pair of pink and plaid, mismatched cleats that can be sold at the same price.” If you start forcing these talk radio stations to put liberals who have proven that they can’t draw an audience on the air (See Air America), then they’re just as likely to drop the format and start playing music. But of course, although they won’t admit it, that’s exactly what proponents of the Fairness Doctrine want to see happen.
Seeing the Forestthen complains that the Fairness Doctrine prevents liberals from getting on the air, which of course, isn’t true at all. The fact that they can’t get anyone to listen to them prevents them from getting on the air. He then goes on to say:
“It used to be considered essential to democracy that the public had access to information. The pubic used to have the right to demand diversity of opinion in the media. Now even expressing such ideas is banned.
Do you think “banned” is too strong a word? Tell me when was the last time you saw or heard these viewpoints expressed? When was the last time you heard a representative of Labor expressing that employees should join unions?”
Hmmm. Isn’t this a self-refuting sentence?
“It used to be considered essential to democracy that the public had access to information. The pubic used to have the right to demand diversity of opinion in the media. Now even expressing such ideas is banned.”
If it’s banned, how can that idea be expressed on Seeing the Forest? If the right-wing is scared to have people exposed to that idea, why am I posting it right now?
Moreover, how can anyone informed enough to figure out how to create a blog possibly believe that there isn’t a “diversity of opinion in the media?” There is actually more diversity than ever before. There was a time when most Americans got their news from their daily paper and the big 3 networks. But now, there’s CNN, MSNBC, Fox, talk radio, and countless websites, from nations all over the world, that represent every view under the sun….which is the real problem liberals have with the media these days. The American people can CHOOSE to watch Fox. The American people can CHOOSE to listen to conservative talk radio. The American people can CHOOSE to get their information from conservative blogs. And guess what? The American people do make those choices and it frustrates liberals to no end, because they can’t set the agenda and define the terms of the debate in the same way that they used to, even a decade ago. That’s what has them really freaked out, not any phony baloney MSM bias to the right or any imaginary “intentional blackout(s)” that only exist in the minds of liberals.