On shows like Meet the Press or basically any place in the modern media clusterfuck, they tend to "balance" their show by pretending to have two guests leaning one way politically and two guests leaning the other. But as Media Matters has scientifically shown, it never works out that way. For example, look at Chris Matthews Show's panel of regulars:
- Paul Gigot – Wall Street Journal
- Campbell Brown – NBC News
- Gloria Borger – US News and World Report
- Sam Donaldson – ABC News journalist
- Norah O'Donnell – NBC News
- Howard Fineman – Newsweek
- Clarence Page – Chicago Tribune
- Andrew Sullivan – Time Magazine
- Katty Kay – BBC News
- Joe Klein – Time Magazine
- Tucker Carlson – MSNBC
- David Gregory – NBC News
The Washington Post fell into the same trap. As Joe Conason reported this morning, the Post website got tired of hearing the right-wingers complain about honest blogger Dan Froomkin. Honest = you question the Bush lies = you are liberal. So they hired a crackpot right-wing psycho, Ben Domenech, to "balance" their coverage. And by balance they mean balancing the truth with lies. As Joe puts it:
Domenech is a partisan operative with no newsroom experience of any kind, no training in journalistic standards and ethics, and nothing to guide him except home schooling and Republican reflexes.In any case, he just resigned. Not because he's a liar and a shill for the administration. No, because he's a plagiarist. But you know what? Even that's not my problem here. The bit that raises my ire is that the liberal blogs have been pointing out his ripped-off stories and concocted quotes for some time now. The thing that got him fired is that the right-wing started complaining about it. I guess lying about war and torture and the deficit doesn't mean much to the right-wingers. But when a conservative hack copies a movie review or two from Salon, all hell breaks loose.
And here's my point, however long it's taken me to get here. This is Karl Rove's fault. Karl Rove has changed our political system to such an extent that we're no longer Americans. We're liberals and conservatives now. The president doesn't have to worry about governing the People of the United States. Thanks to Karl Rove, he only has to keep his 51% happy. This is not how it used to be. Back in the day, presidents used to care about the nation as a whole. Of course you can never please everybody all of the time, but you can formulate policies that are for the good of the people as the president sees it, not just for the good of enough people to get you reelected. And the same thing is at work here at the Post or in the House and the Senate. Bush can eavesdrop on our phone calls or lie us into war or disregard basic human rights, and the Democrats can scream and yell and have secret closed sessions to get press attention. But until at least one Republican finds his conscience and steps up to the plate like God-willing maybe Senator Specter has, the media will sit there smiling condescendingly watching Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy be their dancing monkey while they write up smug fucking polls like Which of these is Hillary Clinton most out of touch with?
And the same thing goes with the Post. This Domenech douchebag is a plagiarist and a liar, but they wouldn't fire him until the right-wing complained. There is no such thing as truth anymore. It's one side versus the other, and until both sides agree on it, it isn't real.