The political media is probably going to be worse post-election, not better.


Think those clowns have learned any lessons? Consider this, from Glenn Greenwald today:

George Bush is the person in whom the Right placed its blind faith, the one they glorified and held up as the ultimate standard-bearer of what they believe in. And now he — and they — lay in shambles and disgrace. No matter what metric one uses, it’s difficult to overstate what a profound failure the Bush presidency is, and everyone — including Bush — knows that. The most important aspect of this Tuesday’s election is to finalize their humiliating repudiation and to bury them for what they’ve done.

Despite all of that, The Washington Post’s Ombudsman, Deborah Howell, today wrote a column claiming that one reason that The Post and other papers are losing money is because they are “too liberal”; have had “more favorable stories about Barack Obama than John McCain,” and “conservatives are right that they often don’t see their views reflected enough in the news pages.” To mitigate newspapers’ financial problems, Howell decrees: “the imbalance still needs to be corrected.” She adds: “Neither the hard-core right nor left will ever be satisfied by Post coverage — and that’s as it should be.”

What if the actual facts — i.e., “reality” — are consistent with the views of “the hard-core left” and contrary to the views of the “hard-core right”? What if, as has plainly been the case, the conservatives’ views are wrong, false, inaccurate? What if the McCain campaign was failing and relying on pure falsehoods and sleazy attacks, and The Post’s coverage simply reflected that reality? It doesn’t matter. In order to sell more newspapers, according to Howell, The Post’s news coverage must shape itself to the Right and ensure that “their views [are] reflected enough in the news pages” (I don’t recall Howell complaining when her newspaper — according to its own media critic — systematically suppressed anti-war viewpoints in its news pages and loudly amplified pro-Bush and pro-war views).

In Howell’s view, The Post shouldn’t determine its news reporting based on what is factually true. Instead, it should shape its coverage to please this discredited, failed political movement — in order to sell more papers. That corrupt formula is, of course, what is now meant by “journalistic balance” — say what both sides believe and take no position about what is true — and it is precisely that behavior which propped up this incomparably failed and deceitful presidency for so long. The establishment media bears much of the responsibility for what has happened during the last 8 years, and amazingly enough, the lesson many of them seemed to have learned is that they didn’t go far enough (“we’re too liberal; we need to accommodate the Right more”). If there is an Obama presidency, watch for them very quickly to re-discover the long-dormant concept of “adversarial behavior.”

The complicity of the Washington press corps in what has befallen this nation since they first became entranced by Bill Clinton’s penis up until these final days of the Bush Disaster has been painful and astonishing to behold.

And yet they do not see.

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