Avatars: The Left and the Media

The Daily Caller has more excerpts from the Journo-list archives. The headline hypes a dialogue about suppressing Fox News (along with the requisite expressions of general disgust); but, as Althouse notes, the discussion is not as scandalous as the headline suggests. Still, that shouldn't detract from the hostility and insularity that you can find in these comments from our supposed betters in the media about their fellow Americans, some of whom might still be under the impression that mainstream media figures look at them with respect.

First, there's Sarah Spitz - a name I am going to save for my Dickensian novel about life in the world of left wing activists, btw - an NPR producer (altho' NPR has already rushed to the microphone to say she hasn't worked for them in a while. Whew!) who wished death on Rush:

In a post to the list-serv Journolist, an online meeting place for liberal journalists, Spitz wrote that she would “Laugh loudly like a maniac and watch his eyes bug out” as Limbaugh writhed in torment.

In boasting that she would gleefully watch a man die in front of her eyes, Spitz seemed to shock even herself. “I never knew I had this much hate in me,” she wrote. “But he deserves it.”

Then, there's the appearance of the Tea Parties last summer, which caused much consternation on the List. Bloomberg's Ryan Donmeyer thought he saw a historic parallel that absolutely did not occur to anyone else:

“You know, at the risk of violating Godwin’s law, is anyone starting to see parallels here between the teabaggers and their tactics and the rise of the Brownshirts?” asked Bloomberg’s Ryan Donmoyer. “Esp. Now that it’s getting violent? Reminds me of the Beer Hall fracases of the 1920s.”

Uh, gosh, Ryan. Now, that you mention, I do see those sorts of parallels! Thanks for the pointer. Blogger Lindsay Beyerstein* was quick to second that insight:

“I’m not saying these guys are capital F-fascists,” added blogger Lindsay Beyerstein, “but they don’t want limited government. Their desired end looks more like a corporate state than a rugged individualist paradise. The rank and file wants a state that will reach into the intimate of citizens when it comes to sex, reproductive freedom, censorship, and rampant incarceration in the name of law and order.”

A thoughtful essay by farmer/classicist Victor Davis Hanson elicited this brush-off from Ed Killgore:
“(That's) the kind of Old White Guy cultural reaction that is at the heart of the Tea Party Movement. It’s very close in spirit to the classic 1970s racist tome, The Camp of the Saints, where White Guys struggle to make up their minds whether to go out and murder brown people or just give up.”
You know, the way these guys refer to White Power "classics" like Camp of the Saints or The Turner Diaries, you would think they were some kind of national best-sellers like Going Rogue, rather than the mimeographed vanity press publications they are in reality.

Still, best in show for this collection has to go to Richard Yeselson for this overwrought paragraph about the meta-meaning of the Tea Parties:
“They want a deficit driven militarist/heterosexist/herrenvolk state,” Yeselson wrote. “This is core of the Bush/Cheney base transmorgrified into an even more explicitly racialized/anti-cosmopolitan constituency. Why? Um, because the president is a black guy named Barack Hussein Obama. But it’s all the same old nuts in the same old bins with some new labels: the gun nuts, the anti tax nuts, the religious nuts, the homophobes, the anti-feminists, the anti-abortion lunatics, the racist/confederate crackpots, the anti-immigration whackos (who feel Bush betrayed them) the pathological government haters (which subsumes some of the othercategories, like the gun nuts and the anti-tax nuts).”
"A deficit driver militarist/heterosexist/herrenvolk** state?" You bet, Rick. Actually, Yeselson is right about one thing: the Tea Parties did represent a radicalized anti-cosmopolitan constituency. After all, Americans were told that electing Barack Obama would lead to a post-partisan era of healing and moderation. By the time the Tea Parties hit the summer circuit, the "moderate" Obama had signed a trillion dollar slush fund into law under the rubric of stimulus; had taken over Chrysler and GM on behalf of the UAW; had begun the work of passing a government take-over of health care; and had declared that the "Cambridge Police acted stupidly" based on the president's careful appraisal of the skin color of the cop and the perp. In other words, millions of people realized that they had been had. This was indeed a radicalizing moment for many, leading to a truly historic moment: the birth of a grass roots conservative protest movement, which culminated in the truly unprecedented mass protests that accompanied the passage of Obamacare.

As with the earlier Weigel revelations, the scandal here isn't that journalists have been caught in the act of being leftists. I think we are all adults around here, and can admit that this was no surprise. More important is the simple disrespect that these well educated, professionals show towards the people on the other side of the political divide. Rather than seeing fellow Americans arguing for a smaller government and political leaders that follow a more strict interpretation of the Constitution, we have a lot of breathless talk of "Fascists" who want "a state that will reach into the intimate of citizens when it comes to sex, reproductive freedom, censorship, and rampant incarceration in the name of law and order.” (Actually, it's probably worth looking into the sexualized political banter - "heterosexist?"- journo-listers engage in. Do they really think Americans give two sh*ts about who is sleeping with whom?)

Republicans and conservatives like to act as if they are engaged in a grand debate of ideas, but the media progressives who set the terms of debate see their opposition as sub-human and ridiculous. We can't "debate" that, but can only defeat it.

*Sure! you can buy me a stein anytime!

** that's "Master Race," natch. Although it's just as likely Yeselson got this charming phrasology from The X-Files

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