To what purpose, Mr. Continetti? Your column of April, 27, 2012 we are referencing, in which the first cracks of a smile begin to appear as you anticipate the MSM having an epiphany. Note the date, sir. It is very, very late, not only in the campaign season of 2012 but also in the history of journalism in America and you pose this ultimatum: “Perhaps they will begin noting………If the media do not note these things, then it is up to conservatives and Romney to do it for them. It is up to us all.”
Which begs the question, how long should we wait for the mainstream media to “note these things”? Until, like the late, great Adlai Stevenson said when addressing the Russians at the UN, “hell freezes over”? This after assuring us in your opening that “This week the political press finally took his (Solzhenitsyn’s) advice. (Live not by lies.)” Oh they did? En masse? As an institution? One can only dream. In case you hadn’t noticed, the entire press is political, and we could certainly direct you to the business section where the truth struggles daily, but we digress.
You give a very fine accounting of the foibles of Obama and his policies in your piece, Mr. Continetti, let there be no mistake about that. And indeed you can get the amen you ask for in conservatives and Romney doing the job the media won’t do. But at the present, with only a few anecdotes like the New York Times ombudsman’s “we-a culpa “comments, and the out-of-synch insertion into the record by Mr. Lemon of CNN, pleading with Obama to show us the money, and perhaps a few churlish or chiding comments by a couple of ungruntled hacks in the press corps, your plaintive “Don’t look now, but the mainstream media may be turning on Obama” seems prematurely ejaculatory, or hopelessly naive, or something.
Are the MSM capable of turning on a dime? Well, as an example, do you recall a certain ombudsman for the Washington Post asking some impolite questions and furnishing some candid observations immediately following the ’08 campaign?
In a November 19, 2008 column, The Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell stated: “I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo”.[
Of course that revelation was not as bold as the not-so-mysterious rejoinder by the Post’s Political editor to questioning posed by Ms. Howell as to why the political desk did not cover the “issues” during the campaign.
I don’t at all discount the importance of issues, but we had a larger purpose……..
Tell me if the ‘salon’ scandals preceded or followed that. Further, tell me if the JournOlist scandals preceded or followed that. They followed, didn’t they? That’s just one little anecdote. There are 8 million stories in the city.
You didn’t start your enterprise, the Beacon, out of any naive sense that so-called journalism could or would be shamed into all of a sudden finding its way again, did you? Upon reviewing your inaugural column there, we are sure that you didn’t.
So we ask again, to what purpose your suggestion today? Are you giving them, after almost two generations of corruption, one final chance? Are you providing cover or giving an out for those few brave souls who might find it adventurous to spite the Dear Leader, or his minions? Are you trolling for talent , holding out that some dissdents might “come on over” to augment your masthead or spiff up your reportage? Are you like Diogenes looking for some last smatterings of integrity to make yourself or somebody else feel encouraged about Estate IV? Are you just a hopeless romantic?
Whatever, surely you did not anticipate arousing …hope….among us jaded conservatives that the MSM was going to come rushing in to save the country from Obama and elevate the Romney presidency to the level of Camelot did you? Surely not.
But let’s say that, whatever their motivations, there is some measureable shift in news coverage, in commentary. Let’s say even that there is enough of it to sway the November election(s) to give America a fighting chance once again. Are we to breathe a sigh of relief that the lost sheep have found their way? We think not. Rathergate may be fast receding in memory, but the scandals involving the media are still coming, may we say, ‘fast and furious’ these days. (Sheryl Atkisson, you are exempt from our seething hatred for the MSM). The level of corruption is palpable at the television outlets, with the scheduling, the scripting and always the dialogue and monologue. And for goodness’ sake the fraudulent editing and doctoring of video and audio tapes in the Martin-Zimmerman affair most assuredly demonstrates the saturation of insidious intent within these organizations. Examples of conscious print agitation, smear and dissembling are legion. But the everyday, day-after-day cant and slant are perhaps the worst.
And so finally, while willing to take the offerings of any turncoats in the MSM, however grudging and self-serving or insincere they may be, do not expect us to start issuing passes to them. Much as we laud the shining appearance of the Washington Free Beacon, it doesn’t get a pass, either, especially as it asks the rather preposterous question “Is the MSM going to straighten up and fly right now?” It didn’t get where it is overnight, so don’t hold your breath, and don’t hold your fire. As for us, we have ….moved on.
Author’s Note: Matthew Continetti is the editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, a very fine and informative and cutting edge alternative to what we have to put up with otherwise.