Frontier Former Editor

March 25, 2006

A truly fun week

Filed under: dumbasses, invertebrates, politics — Frontier Former Editor @ 3:35 pm

After a jam-packed week as a mild-mannered weekly editor, what fun it was to see what throes the larger media market is weathering.

Ben Domenech highlights several concerns I’ve had with the turn that professional commentary has taken since 1980 (the opening salvoes of the Reagan conservatives, which eventually begat the so-called neo-conservatives).

I have no particular beef with Domenech’s politics; at least no more beef than I might have with his more liberal counterparts. But those of Domenech’s ilk, and those who represent his immediate spiritual parentage, do show something that concerns me far more than any conservative-liberal ideological debate.

It’s the long-standing refusal of both sides to engage in any sort of coherent, rational, empirical argument over their positions.

I really don’t consider Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh or the Fox News Network to be any substantive presence of conservative deep thought or accurate reflection of the nation’s conservative bent.

Collectively, they represent as much substance and intellect as Father Charles Coughlin’s anti-semitic nonsense, Walter Winchell’s ass-kissing, half-assed red-baiting, Joe McCarthy’s inquisition, or Andy Griffith’s rabble-rousing in “A Face in the Crowd.”

In fact, they’ve gone so far past any sort of credible conservative position that even Pat Buchanan sounds rational compared to them these days.

Never thought I’d ever write anything like that in my life, but desperate times . . . .

And, in case you’re thinking I’m on an anti-Republican bent, William F. Buckley, Jr. at least makes logical, rational constructs even if you may not lean toward his political views.

And there’s always Molly Ivins, Richard Cohen and Carl Hiassen to put some humanity and rationality into the discussion as well, although they’d typically be called bleeding-heart liberals by O’Reilly, Limbaugh, et al.

And while Al Franken’s brand of humor quite often nails the shrill hypocrisy of many of the “mainstream conservative” pundits, it’s not the sort of head-on, debate-me-like-a-man approach that all political thought deserves in order to prove its intellectual honesty.

The pro-conservative movement in the media is less and less an intellectual discussion and more and more apologism for the party in power.

And much of the ‘liberal’ counter to all this ? I’d hope it would be the unrelenting, logical dissection of any nonsense posing as conservatism.

I’d also hope that all this so-called neo-conservatism be called the mid 19th-century ‘Manifest Destiny’ and proto-fascism crap that it is.

Maybe even depicting O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk as the bunch of low-rent Goebbelses and intellectual Horst Wessels that they are?

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