Thursday, January 3, 2008

Even a conservative evangelical sees through it

There's an interesting post discussing one's experience on the campaign trail for the Huckabee campaign, and the many interesting things learned....

The Mainstream Media Ain't So Bad -- Many bloggers (including me) have a knee-jerk reaction to the mainstream media. We "just know" they have a liberal bias and that they can't be trusted to report accurately on Republicans and conservatives. If my experience is any indication, then most of what we know is "just wrong."

[...]I expected that I'd have the toughest time with the professional journalists but most of the reporters that I dealt with (especially Michael Luo of the New York Times and Jonathan Martin of Politico) were quite fair and always professional. Even when their coverage was cringe-inducing I rarely could fault them for being inaccurate or putting their own biases ahead of the facts.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said of the conservative media.

[...] Almost always the mainstream media from the "liberal" outlets were more fair and balanced than were the ones from the "conservative" side of the media.

Some conservative outlets, of course, were notably fair and accurate. [...]

But while there were a few other exceptions that I could praise ... far too many of the conservative outlets refused to present any evidence that conflicted with their typical anti-Huckabee narrative.


As a campaign staffer, I found such behavior frustrating. But as a consumer of conservative media I found it infuriating. There are a number of pundits, bloggers, reporters, and radio hosts that I will never trust again to be "fair and balanced."

Sometimes learning the truth can be painful, can't it? Sadder but wiser now, and all that....

Mitt Romney will never be President -- I won't be surprised if Mitt Romney wins the Iowa Caucus. I will be surprised, however, if he's still in the race when the South Carolina primary comes around. Even if the impending scandal that has been rumored for weeks doesn’t derail his campaign (I can't say what it is but you should hear about it before Jan. 8), his inherent dishonesty will eventually do him in.

It's not just his flip-flops on the issues, though that should be enough....No, what will destroy Romney's chances is that he will lie about an issue, know that he is lying, know that you know he is lying, and say it anyway. It's not just that he's dishonest. It's that he thinks we're stupid.

Now it's true that in the short term, we do tend to be stupid.... [M]ost people have yet to realize--as have the other campaigns and the mainstream media--he is a liar. But eventually the public catches on.

[...] Because most of it is done behind the scenes (i.e., scurrilous emails sent to reporters and influential bloggers) it is difficult to point out the most egregious examples. Don't take my word on it, though. Ask around to the other campaigns and media outlets.

[...] His "lie and buy" strategy may get him a narrow victory in Iowa but he'll flame out soon enough.

Tell it, brother.

There's nothing here that we didn't already know. But it's nice to see it admitted.

The "fair and balanced" thing, I think, goes back to a point Garry Trudeau made (and yikes, I'm actually quoting him, what's wrong with me?) The so-called "liberal" takes it as a given that the other person's viewpoint may be valid, that listening to "the other" is inherently worthwhile. (What's done after that, and how it's often misused, is another story. And I should note that "listen to" and "agree with" are not synonyms.) The conservative, on the other hand, knows he's right... Why should he listen to someone who's wrong? If he knows what the story is, why should he listen to some staffer try to convince him otherwise?

The whole sorry spectacle is, to a degree, the legacy of Karl Rove, the politics of personal destruction writ large.

On the other hand, maybe it's simpler than that. Nobody does a political knife-fight better than Republicans. The money elite of the GOP is terrified of Huckabee, and want him stopped, almost as much as they want Ron Paul to shut up.

Oh well. Nice to see someone start to gather just a bit more awareness than they had before...

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