2007/01/05

Major media vs the left blogosphere

A couple of statements were made in a recent Washington Post editorial (All highlights mine):

"But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections"
"A few Democrats, worried that the party would be criticized for reneging on an important pledge..."
"House Republicans have begun to complain that Democrats are backing away from their promise to work cooperatively."

As the blogger Digby points out, what promises? As a highly partisan Democrat, I can assure folks that I was paying close attention to statements made by Democrats during and after the recent mid-term elections. At no time did I recall hearing anything about Democratic promises to work with Republicans in a cooperative manner. At no time do I recall any such "pledge" ever being made.
Do we know of any Democrats who would have made such a pledge? As a matter of fact, we do. Senator Joe Lieberman was about the only nationally-known Democrat to run on an explicitly bipartisan platform, to promise closer cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. Well, guess what, Lieberman ultimately won the Senatorial race for Connecticut, but he ran as a member of the CFL Party because Democrats kicked him out of the party. Lieberman's pledges to work in a cooperative, bipartisan manner were not promises that Democrats were in any mood to listen to or to reward.
Does the editorial ever substantiate its claims that Democrats promised to run things in a co-operative and bi-partisan manner? Does the editorial ever name a specific Democrat who ever made any such pledges? Does the editorial provide us with the exact wording of this oh-so-important pledge?
No to all of those questions. Folks, this your major, mainstream media at work. This is your big, important paper that allegedly carefully checks all of its' facts and diligently follows up on all of its' tips and leads. This is an organization with plenty of money and personnel to make sure all of the items printed in their paper are accurate.
This is a paper that deliberately and consciously made up "an important pledge" out of thin air. Like the advice columnist Miss Manners, I refuse to engage in mind-reading. I don't know why they said this and I really don't care. The point is, this is why the left blogosphere exists. Major media gets things wrong and makes things up. They put out a lot of information that's just plain wrong. Recently, ABC TV put out a four-hour miniseries about 9-11 that should have landed them in court with a major slander suit on their hands. Why didn't they? Don't know, don't care. What is quite clear is that had the left blogosphere not made a major stink about this piece of trash, it would have aired in an unaltered fashion and would have been accepted as conventional wisdom.
We need to keep an eye on the major media. We need to pay close and careful attention when they get things wrong and we need to react immediately and strongly when they try to peddle lies and misinformation. Former President Bill Clinton took a lot of trash for reacting to the 9-11 miniseries the way he did, but his was the correct response. Fox News was not acting in an impartial manner, they took a blatantly partisan stance and Clinton correctly called them on it. The miniseries did not become conventional wisdom precisely because Clinton made it clear that he was not going to sit still for being misrepresented. We owe absolutely nothing to the major media, who had little or nothing to say about the whole issue.

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