Friday, February 23, 2007

Joe Klein Demonstrating The Wrong-Headed Attitude of the Mainstream Media (MSM)

Joe Klein, blogging over at Time's Swampland, takes on Glenn Beck of CNN for being basically in agreement with Osama Bin Laden that our culture in the US is offensive and needs to be attacked. Klein suggested that Glenn Beck had no place on the air, and it was wrong for him to be spouting such hateful rhetoric.

I, along with other commentators, noted that Newsweek Time, which is part of the same umbrella Klein works under had recently hired Bill Kristol, and wondered aloud why Beck was bad, but Kristol who advocated for a horribly wrong policy in Iraq, has told people who disagree with the surge to just shut up for 9 months, should be given a new gig at Newsweek. Klein responded with the following.

Oh, and to those commentators who would equate Bill Kristal with Glenn Beck, here are two distinctions: 1) Bill has spent years studying this stuff and has come to a conclusion that I disagree with, but he states it in a civilized, dignified, well-thought and usually friendly way. 2) He isn't the editor of Time Magazine, just a columnist (non-staff, unlike me) just as Michael Kinsley is. Glenn Beck controls the content of his program.
My dream is a public square where neither America-haters like Chomsky or world-haters like Beck have positions of authority, but both can spew their nonsense as guests.

Let us dissect. First, Klein once again is equating "tone" with reasonability. If I said, "let's fix our fucking health care system", and Rush Limbaugh said politely,"I feel deeply that we should efficiently euthanize any senior citizen who can't pay for medical coverage. We can call it a relaxation room and pipe in some music for them", who here is being more reasonable?

Kristol advocated for pre-emptive war with Iraq even before Clinton left office. He said it would be easy. Kristol said that the Shia and Sunni would get along with each other, and was a big part of the drumbeat for this disaster as the debate was ongoing. Our nation's reputation is now in tatters. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, our debt is exploding. We have lost our moral compass with Abu Ghraib, warrantless wiretapping, removal of habeus corpus guarantees. He defended all these things and is offered a column.

Equating a left of center guy like Michael Kinsley with Bill Kristol is absurd. It is comparing apples to oranges. Kinsley often goes with the conventional beltway wisdom on things such as trade and economic policy. It would be like comparing Ann Coulter to Larry King saying there is balance. Larry seems kind of left of center. That's balanced. What an absurd argument.

I have really not read Chomsky in any depth, but how does he exactly hate america? By criticizing bad things that we do? That is all I know of that Chomsky does. Does Joe Klein have any evidence of hatred for all things American, or does Chomsky critique the governing ideology that Klein feels he needs to protect. Kristol is allowed on tv all the time, Chomsky isn't. If they were both allowed equal access to the mainstream, perhaps we could independently evaluate their positions. We aren't. True liberals, true radical leftists aren't allowed on corporate media's print space or airwaves. We allowed people on the airwaves who have suggested Hillary Clinton is both a lesbian and had affairs with Web Hubbell and Vince Foster. We have had people on the air who stated that Clinton murdered Ron Brown and ran cocaine out of Mena, Arkansas.

Why do we always get told "radicals" aren't going to get on tv. Yet, the radical right continually gets a forum to air their views? Seriously Joe, why is that? We can't even get the media to this day to continue to investigate why nobody in Alabama ever noticed Bush showing up for duty, but I see Jerry Falwell on tv all the time. This is the same guy who was hawking tapes that alleged Clinton was a cocaine kingpin.

On the internets, you get called for this bullshit analysis. True progressives aren't allowed in your club, and with you being "the token" liberal at Time, your illogical defenses of the status quo will be challenged vigorously. I might also note for the record that when you get challenged, you tend to get a bit uncivil yourself. At the same time, you don't seem to take that to the next level and understand why people who opposed George Bush from the start might be uncivil after being called traitors, america-haters, terrorist enablers, fifth columnists, by the "reasonable people" like Bill Kristol who continue to be wrong, but get only more air time as a result.