A "blogstorm" is thundering across liberal Web sites. Many liberals are furious at the White House press corps for virtually ignoring Stephen Colbert's keynote speech at the press corp's own White House Correspondents' Dinner last Saturday.
How's this for a newsworthy lead? It was perhaps the first time in Bush's tenure that the president was forced to sit and listen to any American cite the litany of criminal and corruption allegations that have piled up against his administration. And mouth-tense Bush and first lady Laura Bush fled as soon as possible afterward.
Wow, someone in the traditional media finally said it. Someone finally acknowledged the possibility of ... no, it can't be!... conservative bias in the press corps?!:
To non-liberals, this may seem like an isolated complaint. To liberals, it further justifies their belief that the media, particularly TV news, is a big stinking cabal of conservatives.
This is trouble for the media. It has been losing customers to bloggers and Web sites for years. This won't help. The media's implosion of silence could be one of the final reasons many liberals use to not turn on TV news. It's not like they feel a vested interest in the industry anyway, since it has been bought and parceled by conservatives.
There is Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, that Pravda of GOP propaganda and breeding ground for Bush appointees. There are the networks' Sunday news shows that give more face time to Republicans. There are cable news channels like MSNBC, where Republicans have programmed the shows and hired on-air Republicans and conservatives-lite, from Tucker Carlson to Joe Scarborough and Chris Matthews. Some TV watchdogs even chronicle these conservative media daily, backed up by transcripts and video clips from TV news shows, in the expansive Web site, MediaMatters.com.
I think it's quickly solidifying into conventional wisdom that the International Society of Cocktail Weenie Addicts so brazenly refused to report on Colbert because, at the end of the day, they were his pinata every bit as much as the president, and as ridiculous as Colbert made the president look, the press looked even more pathetic for being so thoroughly cowed and complicit. Every day the truth becomes more uncomfortable for the media, who, in an age where nearly all government apparatus and national organizations have failed us, have failed us perhaps most profoundly because they were supposed to be the watchdogs. They were supposed to be the stopgap.
Why has it taken this long for someone in the media to connect the dots? The media foamed at the mouth over Clinton's infidelity and tried their damnedest to undermine his approval ratings by printing editorial after editorial telling us that everyone hates the president (which we didn't) and that impeachment is the only just reaction (which it wasn't). Then there was the 2000 election, where the media mercilessly attacked Gore, gleefully replaying over and over every tiny misstep of the Gore campaign, and every bogus charge and libellous claim of the Bush campaign (you think the Swift Boat Vets didn't base their strategy on the media's "golly-gee!" gullibility in believing that Gore really said "I invented the internet?") without any hint of integrity and remorse after the fact. Then there was the genuflecting toward the president after 9/11, and the fight to justify the Iraq War, where psychological warfare was waged upon the American people every day from the nation's editorial pages and cable news shows.
Remember people, someday we will have to tell our children that we as a country actually debated such things as the use of torture, whether the president can act outside the law and even the Constitution itself, wiretapping American citizens, and whether outing covert CIA agents is the same thing as whistleblowing on illegal government practices.
Someday, the press is going to have to own up to the fact that they took sides long ago, and the consequences have been disastrous. Yet, just like the president, when they can't spin it away, they just remain silent, hiding the truth, and waiting for the people to get distracted by the next story.