As I was saying, before taking a few weeks off to graduate our second daughter and juggle more family visits than I had had in years…
E.J. Dionne, not one to generally slam the mainstream media, or to comment much on journalism at all, takes the MSM to task:
A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.
Yes, you read that correctly: If you doubt that there is a conservative inclination in the media, consider which arguments you hear regularly and which you don’t. When Rush Limbaugh sneezes or Newt Gingrich tweets, their views ricochet from the Internet to cable television and into the traditional media. It is remarkable how successful they are in setting what passes for the news agenda.
Complaining that progressives, especially those critical of some of President Obama’s decisions thus far, get little traction with the media, he asks, “But why are their voices muffled when they raise legitimate concerns, while Limbaugh’s rants get amplified?”
It must be a rhetorical question, though he doesn’t answer it. It’s simple. Obama was elected as a liberal, albeit a cautious one, overturning a far-right government. Thus, the media, wanting confrontation more than anything, needs to find the polar opposite of him to fill in the narrative they want. A progressive president fighting a more progressive element of his own party, especially one not willing to throw hand rhetorical grenades as the right is wont to do (“racist,” “socialist,” anyone?) is not the fight that offers the biggest sparks.
I don’t suggest the MSM should ignore the Limbaughs of the world. Because of their popularity, It is incumbent on the media to scrutinize a substantial element of our populace. But the left shouldn’t be marginalized.
I’m not sure what Dionne thinks the right is “winning,” but progressives are losing.