A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Of Deans and the MSM

As promised, I just did a search for editorials on Howard Dean's comments regarding Terri Schiavo in the exact same source I searched for editorials on the Martinez memo. It's been over two weeks since Dean made his comments, so anybody want to hazard a guess as to how many editorials there have been reprimanding Dean? Anybody?

Zero. None. Nada. Zilch.

Nope, no bias here. Interestingly, I did find this article about Dean and his somewhat unusual approach to reaching out to voters in Republican states.

In other Dean news-- John W. Dean, the self-same White House legal counsel during Watergate, was part of a panel at last month's L.A. Times Festival of Books, which was hosted at UCLA. I mention this because I saw the panel he was on while watching C-Span last week. He was dreadful. Now in his '60s, Dean made horrible jokes on a wide variety of topics, all received with much enthusiasm by the majority of the audience.

But that's beside the point. Here's the panel for "Lies, Deceit & Cover-ups" (which, oddly, was called "Politics, Science and Society" on C-Span): Moderator Mr. Larry Beinhart, Mr. Eric Alterman, Mr. John W. Dean, Ms. Maureen Dowd, Dr. Michael Shermer, and Mr. Jon Wiener. Anyone see a trend here? Alterman has written two explicitly pro-liberal/anti-Bush books, and arguably three others; Dean has become a Democrat, and has penned Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush; Dowd is a columnsist for the NY Times, and very rarely misses an opportunity to rip on Bush, Cheney or, particularly, Rumsfeld and also recently published Bushworld: Enter At Your Own Risk; Shermer is odd man out-- the founder of Skeptic magazine, he appeared to have no political agenda; and Wiener (no, I'm not making that up) who wrote Historians in Trouble which I have not read but from the blurb provided seems to have a bit of an agenda as well-- and not one favorable to Bush.

All of which is fine, I guess, that's who the L.A. Times wanted on the panely, that's fine. Maybe they asked people like Christopher Hitchens or Cal Thomas and they declined. But the thing that really made me cringe was Eric Alterman (who, btw, was pompous, unfunny, condescending and generally a prissy little sob) claiming there was a right-ward bias in the mainstream media-- which, of course, was met by huge applause from the UCLA audience and the rest of the panel members. And made me hit myself in the forehead and say "Doh!" loudly to no one, as I didn't have anyone there joining me in my nerddom.

I just kept thinking, "Right-wing bias?! Look at your very own stinkin' panely you turd!" It's sponsored by the LA Times, one of the largest newspapers in the country, and it consists almost entirely of liberal commentators-- doesn't that tell you anythign at all?

One last comment, and you'll have to take my word for this, but Beinhart, the moderator, was so heavyhanded in his handling of questions it made me want to smack him. One guy has the guts to get up in front of what is clearly a pro-Democrat/anti-Bush audience and try to ask Alterman about a potentially anti-semitic comment he made and while Alterman is jumping down his throat (very, very defensive he was) the guys kinda loses his place in the question. Beinhart says something to the effect of, "Sorry sir, but since you don't seem to have a question I'm going to ask you to sit down." Five minutes later when a former Woodstock hippie Boomer (I'm sorry, but he SO just looked the stereotype) got up and rambled on for about two minutes on Bush's deceits and no WMD's and 1500 dead without asking a question, Beinhart just nodded and let him babble on. The guy NEVER actually asked a question-- just blathered anti-Bush rhetoric for two or three minutes.
I eagerly (and no doubt fruitlessly) await Elvis Costello's attempt to explain this one away!

And, did anyone else catch the lovely editorial bias at the New York Times regarding the impeachment filibuster? Back in (I think) 1994 when the in-control democrats wanted to remove it from the rules so that the minority couldn't dictate to the majority, the New York Times editorialized that this was a good thing.

Fast forward ten years. Now the New York Times editorializes that it's downright wrong and even unkind for the in-control republicans to remove the filibuster from the rules.

The Time's only consistency? Support for democrats.
well, I admit I was wrong. I thought the noise machine would latch onto Dean's comment out of context and try to blow it up.

Guess that most people did, after all, feel that it WAS in response to the Republicans' heavy handed tactics trying to politicize a personal tragedy in the first place.

But it was, after all, time to move on; there is a judicial insurrection going on requiring paramilitary action; and it's also time to raise awareness of the overwhelming difficulties of being a Christian in a country that has enshrined your freedom to be a Christian in the founding documents (clarification for the symbol-minded: founding a country protecting the practice of religion is, in fact not the same as establishing the country ON the religion itself.)

Oh and to paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, if you think there's a bias in the way the media reports the news, start your own media company that reports thing as you would have them. Oh that's right, Rupert Murdoch has already done this. So there's apparently no need to force every outlet into lockstep agreement, is there?

Glad that's settled.

BTW, I recently saw Elvis Costello perform, so I can say with relative certainty that I am, in fact, not he; However, should I meet him, I will pass along to him your desire for his opinion.
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